Even though I am often very down on our country, I love the Fourth of July. I see this day as a reminder of what we can be and a celebration of hope for a better tomorrow. I grew up in a town that made it impossible not to enjoy the Fourth with three weeks of amazing festivities leading up to the fireworks, so I have a lot of fond summer memories revolving around today, and I love being able to share them with Nora.
Not to mention, a holiday is a great excuse to wear something other than tennis shoes or flip-flops…I think my cute shoes get lonely up on the shelf of my closet (and very dusty!) but with all the walking I do, I have become all about practical. But not today. Today, even the houses are dressed up,
So Nora and I got dressed up too.
Her dress is, by the way, the same one she wore last year…sized nine months! Last year it was gigantic on her. This year, there was still plenty of room on the sides, but it required shorts underneath. It was super cute and you never would have known it was intended for a much smaller baby.
We started the festivities early with a reading of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights at the Unitarian Church.I think she was a little overwhelmed by all the people in close quarters singing and talking, because Nora nursed the whole time. At least she didn’t bother anyone!
After the reading, we hit the streets. Every year, the town blocks off main street for all kinds of booths and activities. There was face painting (with a mile-long line), pie and watermelon eating contests, a dunk tank, and a sand art table.Nora was so proud of her sand…she carried it around for the next 20 minutes (during which time the layers were completely scrambled together). She only parted with it when a kind stranger gave her a balloon.Nora has a love affair with balloons. She carried that one around for close to 40 minutes.
There was a puppet showby which she was completely transfixed.(As a side note, do you see the curls?I am in love.)
The culmination of the morning’s events is a giant water fight and hosing down of the crowd by the fire department.It was pretty spectacular to watch (far from the hoses), and I can’t imagine how much fun it will be for Nora to participate in when she’s older.
All that made for a pretty eventful morning, so we went back home to rest and recuperate before round two…
To be honest, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to take Nora to the fireworks. First of all, Chris was working so I’d be on my own. And then there’s the fact that they were starting more than an hour and a half after her normal bed time. AND it’s sort of a zoo getting back from Jetties beach where they are set off.
I finally decided I would try biking out there and just leave early if need be. Nora had no problem with the later bedtime and had a blast. I am so glad that we went!
On the way out there, we stopped for a visit with Dada and an ice cream.We got to the beach in time to visit the playgroundand catch a beautiful Nantucket sunset.
We read some stories on a blanket on the beachand then the show began.Nantucket fireworks are all paid for by private donations and t-shirt sales, so I don’t feel guilty about watching them. It always used to bug me when cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fireworks which could otherwise have been spent on providing public services. Not so here, so our fireworks display is guilt free. And gorgeous. And Nora loved it!She was bouncing up and down saying, “ooh,” “ahh,” “pretty,” “neat,” and “happy see fireworks.”
She couldn’t have loved today’s activities more; it’s just how I hoped it would be. What did you do for the Fourth? Any neat traditions in your town/family?