Independence Day 2020

From The United States Air Force Band on Facebook:
God Bless the USA with Lee Greenwood, Home Free
and the Singing Sergeants

President John Adams wrote centuries ago that “The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” That’s not a typo, the 4th of July should really be celebrated as the 2nd of July!

Adams further wrote that Independence Day ought to be celebrated “by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other…” That is pretty much what Americans have continued to do, year after year, on the 4th of July. When we think of this holiday, in the midst of summer, our minds immediately go to fireworks, barbecues, parades, concerts and baseball games.

While these activities are quite universal across America, there are some unique events held on Independence Day. (Note: I imagine most of these have either been cancelled or gone virtual due to the pandemic.)

  1. Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, is held in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. The winner is the person who eats (and keeps down) the most hot dogs and buns in ten minutes.
  2. Old Glory Boat Parade – There are several waterways that host boat parades. Newport Beach, California, not far from where we used to live, is one such venue.
  3. Lobster Racing happens in Bar Harbor, Maine. Spectators can even bet on their favorite lobster. Be prepared though as the race moves along – SLOWLY!
  4. Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony takes place each year at Monticello, home of President Thomas Jefferson, who was also part of the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence.
  5. Bristol, Rhode Island hosts the oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration found anywhere in the United States. Two college friends of mine married in Bristol on July 4th. Don’t ask what the traffic was like!
  6. Flagstaff, Arizona celebrates western culture over the Independence Day weekend. Events include the Annual Hopi Festival of Arts & Culture, a Folk Festival and the Annual Babbitt Ford Classic Car Show.
  7. Allegan, Michigan celebrates the holiday with an ox roast and BBQ, among other activities and starts the party on 3 July to fit everything in the packed holiday schedule.
  8. The Zerbini Family Circus performs yearly in Maplewood, New Jersey. Now that’s different!
  9. If you ever have a chance to be in Williamsburg, Virginia over the 4th of July holiday, you will have a fabulous time, from enjoying all the colonial re-enactors to hearing the mayor read the Declaration of Independence on the Town Hall steps to hearing the 13 cannons fired in honor of the original thirteen colonies. We celebrated there when my son was about ten – the most fantastic time was had by all of us.
  10. Don’t want to travel anywhere? Then have safe fun at home with family, but be sure to enjoy some homemade ice cream. 🙂

Happy 244th Birthday, America!

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