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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

An Old-Fashioned Fourth

Jules here-
Good Old Uncle Sam (on stilts)

 Growing up in Delaware, the Fourth of July included a "Community Days" type fair at our local park and fire works at the local college field.  Plus sweltering, oppressive heat.  Though I enjoyed the events, I never felt truly patriotic until I arrived in New Hampshire.  Maybe because the colonies started in New England or because the small-town ambiance creates a perfect parade setting, but I have never felt so American until I moved here.
2013 Bike Parade Participants

We attend the annual parade in Amherst, New Hampshire, the town over from mine, and have been delighted with the family-friendly atmosphere.  From the reading of the Declaration of Independence to face-painting flags, you become enveloped in an American scene straight out of a movie.  Children decorate their bikes to start out the parade, and then the floats, marching bands, and political powerhouses march through the streets.  Being the first primaries state, I have seen presidential candidates, governors, senators, even Mitt Romney came a couple of years ago.  Watching our electoral system and freedom of speech also strengthens that patriotic environment.

photo credit:

My children get free balloons, popcorn, and even popsicles from local businesses and churches--everyone is friendly, welcoming, and celebratory during the event.  The 1700-era, brick colonials line the parade route with American flags draped throughout making a fantastic backdrop to the homemade floats.

2011 Amherst Parade-- Lissie was a tad younger...
My children look forward to the bagpipers, firetrucks, free political stickers (only some I let them wear), and yummy food.  The parade lasts for over an hour, and you can saunter through the midway events (such as a petting zoo, colonial re-enactors, and balloon animal making) before and after the parade.  Usually the parade is HOT, but we can cool off with and Italian ice and sitting in the shady, old oaks on the town green.

James & Mommy enjoying the parade

Besides the patriotic parade, we also enjoyed yummy Fourth of July French Toast, flag fruit kabobs (courtesy of my neighbor Lisa) and even flag pudding pops for dessert (also courtesy of Lisa-- I may have introduced her to pinterest).  We shared a fabulous barbecue dinner with our neighbors and even had some fancy holiday-inspired drinks.  Though our fireworks were delayed due to rain, we experienced the true "meaning" of the holiday: pride and appreciation for our fantastic free country!!

Easy Rule #70476- Don't forget our founding fathers on the Fourth!

Easy Rule #7890- Find the right locale for your celebration- sometimes it will rejuvenate your holiday spirit!

And parades wear out little ones--

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