Our fourth up in Susan's area started off with her neighborhood parade, an annual tradition. I was surprised to see this many people turn out and this much organization for something that really just involved a half mile or so walk down a residential side street. According to Susan, probably because the fourth was on a weekend and many people left town, this was actually a small crowd. I bet there were about 100 people gathered, not counting those who watched from their lawns. Impressive.
The organizer started us off with a short speech and leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were a couple of fire trucks there, the patriotic white duck:
Dogs in hats and scarves, including Susan's mom's beagle Rusty:
Very hot, panting snow dogs who I don't think appreciated the 90+ degree weather, and even Spiderman was there.
Those neighbors who didn't feel like walking in the parade cheered enthusiastically from the sidelines.
Decorated vehicles of all kinds were welcomed:
And Kate managed to talk Lauren into a lengthy piggy back ride.
We all walked along the parade route and the girls took turns riding in Susan's husband Rob's go cart thing with the obnoxiously loud siren.
At the parade's conclusion some neighbors served everyone lemonade and popsicles, and Rob gave extra go cart rides to the kids. John even managed to get behind the wheel for a bit.
Then after lunch we headed to a backyard BBQ/party at a home near Susan's. It was probably nearly 100 degrees, but in the shade it was actually pretty comfortable.
The kids suited up and got into the pool, but there wasn't a lot of swimming going on in the shallow end. The neighbors have a diving board and teenagers, and the teenagers had their friends over, so the whole big crew of them took turns doing outrageous dives and flips for hours. My girls were so interested and intimidated by all of this that they just mainly sat around by the pool steps and watched.
Unlike our county, fireworks were on sale at giant stands all over the place. Earlier in the day we stopped and bought a huge assortment and as soon as darkness started to fall we got out the sparklers. This was the first time my girls had seen fireworks up close. Trish showed them how to get them started and how to properly enjoy their sparklers.
It didn't take long for the twins to start having fun, but Erin was very scared of them and wouldn't go near them for several minutes. Eventually she held one just for a second or two before dropping it and backing off again.
I was surprised by this. Erin is very fearless when it comes to some things...thrill rides at amusement parks for example. Big, fast rides scare Kate but Erin hasn't met a ride she didn't like, unless it goes too slowly. But there was no getting past her fear of getting close to these fireworks.
Next, John and Hugh started setting up the fountains and roman candles in the street while everyone gathered on the front lawn. Again, Erin kept more than an adequate distance and looked very nervous the whole time.
John was definitely chief pyrotechnic officer. Rob supervised.
I really had forgotten about how much fun street fireworks are. I haven't been someplace where you can have them in many years, but this is exactly the kind of fourth of July celebration we always had as kids. Neighbors gathered, we potluck/BBQ'd and swam together, and pooled our fireworks and the dads lit up a show in the street every year.
About two houses down another group of people were also lighting fireworks, and we kind of alternated with them so we could watch each other's. All up and down the street people were sitting outside and socializing. This kind of thing never, ever, happens or would ever happen in our neighborhood at home, and that's sad.
This weekend brought back lots of childhood memories. And this is us: me, Susan, Trish, circa 1982 or so, which is when Susan reached her adult height I think...and July, 4, 2010.