Every year when the good ol’ 4th of July rolls around, I am transported back to Cedarburg, Wisconsin. While it has been ten years since the last time I was in my hometown for their annual “Hometown 4th of July” parade, picnic and fireworks, the festivities with my friends and family in small-town Wisconsin are the what I miss most on this holiday.
When I think about the 4th of July, I think of:
- Setting up blankets and lawn chairs on the sidewalks of main street the night before the parade
- Planning my most star-spangling, red, white and blue outfit for the big day (which usually involved glitter, scrunchies and/or facepaint)
- Preparing an appropriately sized bag to bring to carry all of my parade candy home
- Lathering on tons of SPF throughout the day (prior to the facepaint, obviously) and being told to wear a hat or worse, a visor (GASP!)… ummm no.
- The Cedarburg parade in all of its hometown glory: shiny red firetrucks, flag-toting veterans, marching bands, Uncle Sam and more!
- The smell of the barbeque in Cedar Creek Park
- Cheddarwurst (Oh Wisconsin!) with extra ketchup and mustard and a big scoop of my mom’s potato salad with pickles
- Getting to the park extra early to get the best spot for the fireworks, bringing along the blue lounge-y lawn chairs and cans of La Croix from home
- Running into everyone from school, church (and the whole town) all day long
- Giant glow stick rings (which inevitably got caught in the tree branches from being thrown too high)
- Home-made ice cream sandwiches from The Chocolate Factory
- The Cedarburg Civic Band playing in the old white bandstand in the park until the fireworks began
- The fireworks being launched from the other side of Cedar Creek
- The ooh-ing and ahh-ing of the crowd throughout the fireworks show
- The burnt smell that lingers in the air after the fireworks are all over
- Going back to the car and finding fireworks dust and debris on the purple, wood-panelled mini-van
- Putting the neon glow sticks into the freezer as soon as we get home in the hopes we can recrack them the next day
Happy 4th of July to you all!