First off, can we make a rule that our National holiday deserves two days off work when it falls mid-week? Having two “Fridays” in no way makes up for the two “Mondays” or the random thoughts I had about attending tomorrow’s mass on the day-off. So screwy!
I grew up in a small town that gets out of its own way for exactly one week a year, around the Fourth of July holiday. There isn’t a rodeo, but our own Buckeroo (and fireworks show!) [with the world’s worst website, or I’d link to it]. And not one Parade, but two…a Kiddie Parade held an evening before the 4th of July Main Street Parade. Add in some dancing, late night pancakes in the park by the VFW and BBQ chicken dinner from the local Catholic church…and it’s a pretty epic week whether you’re six, sixteen, twenty-one or… (well, I haven’t been there since I turned 22 so I’m assuming it continues to be fairly entertaining as one gets older).
As a child, I assumed all towns had parades to celebrate Independence Day, but alas I grew up and moved to Jacksonville, to discover the only parade here is a never-ending stream of bicycles, with passengers displaying various stages of public intoxication, up and down First Street at the Beaches. Not going to lie, it’s pretty entertaining whether you choose to participate on cycle, or by waving from a beach chair at someone’s house party. But now that we’re married and old, our Beach time yesterday was about 30 minutes of grabbing coffee, surveying the scene at the end of Atlanti(c) Blvd, and getting the heck out of there before it got crazy.
Instead, our Fourth “celebrations” consisted of cereal & shakes for breakfast & cleaning the house. A planned movie date nearly went astray when someone (ahem, me) forgot the cinema passes (waited out the next showtime with leftovers for lunch and an episode of Rescue Me)…and then realizing said passes were not accepted on opening weekend of a flick like “Moonlight Kingdom.” (three stars, for those of you keeping score).
Things nearly got crazy when a freak thunderstorm knocked out power while we were attempting to find an open restaurant for dinner, so we met our friends (the Lees) for a traditional third-of-July meal of Greek food. The only true “Fourth” moment of the day? Despite the earlier rain, downtown Jacksonville’s fireworks show went off as planned. Somewhere in the 12 minutes of oohs, ahhs and sparkly showers raining down on the city, it finally felt like the Fourth.
After the show, my ringing ears confirmed it…next year, we’re Moo-Town bound!
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