As part of a writing project sponsored by Scribbit
Where do I begin? We live in Arizona, so summer starts around February 21st. Seriously! But, the kids get off of school around Memorial Day. That's when summer officially begins.
We usually take a car ride over to Disneyland the first week of June. But, we have come to realize that this can be a really hot and humid time of year in California, too. So, this year we have chosen to mix things up a bit. We're camping in June and going to Disney in October. Hopefully it won't be too hot camping this weekend.
The biggest tradition of our summer involves the Fourth of July. My husband is from "Smalltown America" about 20 minutes from where we currently live. The have wonderful Fourth of July festivities that we have only missed once. (And I will NEVER do that again, we almost got divorced!)
The day starts out with a good ole parade. With horses and tractors and fire trucks and bands. It's really cool. The kids load up on the tons of candy that are thrown throughout the parade. Sometimes they get other interesting things- like Flavor Ice, paper airplanes, pinwheels. We usually hang out under the shade tree with the whole extended family.
Next everyone heads over to the Lions Park. Here local law enforcement and fire departments square off in a high power water fight, using fire hoses! Each team must try to move a buoy up on a wire to the other side. It's a round robin competition. And a sure fire hit with all of the hot kids that like to get soaked.
After a good soaking we all head to Grandma's house. Grandma lives centrally in town so this is the natural meeting place. This is the one holiday that EVERYONE attends. Cousins, aunts and uncles, some weird people that I hope to God we're NOT related to. Everyone brings something to eat and we all eat and relax and hang out and catch up. For some this is the only time we see them all year. (Sometimes that's a blessing.)
When the sun begins to set we all head back over to the Lions Park. The town band (can you believe the TOWN actually has a band, similar to the school band?) plays all sorts of traditional American music. The kids get out there and dance. The old timers clap and sing along. We all get a little teary when they play The Star Spangled Banner.
Once night falls we head out to the football field. Some on blankets, some in chairs, some on tops of cars. And we watch the spectacular fireworks (know as poppers in our house). This small town puts on a really good show. One year there was a fire danger so they couldn't do fireworks. That was DEPRESSING! Luckily they rescheduled for August, so all was good. Last year a monsoon hit us right after the fireworks. It POURED. People were running into the ramada and running for their cars. That will be the year that everyone talks about.
It's nice to see that some traditions like this remain. Living in the city and seeing how the world changes so quickly it's nice to go back to our roots and enjoy some good old fashioned family fun.