Today’s cheap thrill might keep you waiting a year or several, but it’ll be worth it.
The challenge? Join us some year for a Creswell 4th of July!
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge 4th of July fan. I feel blessed to have grown up in the USofA, but I’m not especially patriotic, and though I enjoy a good BBQ, the 4th of July was a lot like any other summer day for me growing up. But Creswell, Oregon, knows how to throw an Independence Day shindig.
It starts with a parade, naturally – a quaint but incredibly crowded parade down the main drag of the tiny town. About 20,000 people squeeze on to the Creswell streets to watch homemade “floats,” antique tractors, every firetruck in the county, and all the kids from 4-H and their goats march down the road.
Candy is chucked at children with reckless abandon and often “ooooohhh!”-earning accuracy.
It’s noisy and messy and crowded and wet (the firetrucks tend to be a bit generous with the water balloons and squirt guns), but it’s also just adorable and homey and chaotically great.
After the parade, we journey back to my parents’ house for lunch and swimming in the pool and laying around reading books or playing games or just generally enjoying life while drinking MikeTais. Curious? Come over. Did I mention my parents live here?:
Right. God bless America. 🙂
After we’re good and rested, we all caravan over to the High School and camp out for a little while to wait for the fireworks show. We play games and eat a picnic dinner. Red velvet cupcakes are involved.
Creswell does one heck of a 30 minute fireworks extravaganza – one of those where you keep thinking “Ooo, what a great finale!” only to have the show continue and get more and more impressive until you’re almost sick of being entertained. This year, I decided I wanted to play with high contrast, grainy noisy black and white fireworks photos (there’s always next year if it fails, right?). Here are an unedited pair for you:
After fireworks, it’s home to bed, sugar-crashed and smoke smelly and generally happy. Afterall, no matter how you feel about the hoopla or the war or the government, the 4th of July is a celebration of gratitude, and that, I believe, is always worth getting behind.
I hope your holiday was full of pretty things that go boom.