Favorite 4th of July Memories

fireworks_blast_185682What are your favorite 4th of July memories? I have a few. The first is a childhood memory, gathering at my grandmother’s house. My dad is part of a large family (13) and I’m the eldest grandchild so I was fortunate to experience many large family gatherings before everyone scattered across the states. I have cousins I’ve never met from the ‘younger’ group of siblings. I wish they could have experienced the “Swenson” madness.

I always enjoyed our family gatherings, all the aunts and uncles and my younger cousins. The 4th was a great time in those days with fireworks and hand held sparklers. People weren’t so “sue” conscious and we had many adults to make sure we weren’t burned.

I always regretted that they were illegal by the time I had children. As a parent of young children, one of our favorite 4th activities was to go to Moffet Field (oops, not NASA) when they parked everyone in their cars on the runways and had a firework display. The kids would run up and down the runway with other kids and the car radio could be turned to the music for the fireworks. It was awesome.


green_fireworks_193088It didn’t last long before we had to find another venue. Great America Park (that’s what it was called then) became our place to go.  I remember the first time. My dau was less than 2 and she screamed. I realized later that the noise hurt her ears. She’d been cursed with many ear infections. Other than that, it was always a lot of fun. We had to stop when it became too dangerous out in the parking lot with gang activity. That was sad.

After that, we didn’t really seek out displays and our families all moved away so there weren’t any gatherings. Today, it’s just a quiet day at home. Much like any other. My grown children often celebrate with groups of their friends, and I hope that with a grandchild on the way, I can find a holiday tradition that they’ll remember  with the same fondness that I have of my childhood, when they grow up.

(Photos: http://all-free-download.com/free-photos)

What is one of your favorite 4th of July memories (or two or three). Share. We’d love to know.

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9 thoughts on “Favorite 4th of July Memories

  1. Nothing beats taking a child for their first fireworks display. Where I live in Florida, we always have a boat parade first. They light up everything from small fishing boats to the biggest yachts. Then, the fireworks are released over the bay. The reflection on the water makes it a little more special.

  2. As a Canadian, our fireworks are held on July 1st…but unless you go to something like Wonderland (a big amusement park here in Ontario), our local fireworks are nothing like you guys do in the US. So needless to say, rememberable (not a word?? really?)…is when we took our 3 girls to visit the in-laws in Atlanta back in 2005. The local parade and fireworks were amazing!

    • Amusement parks do put on huge displays. I sure miss doing that. Might have to start searching for places to go as I have missed that aspect of this holiday.

  3. Wonderful and timely post, Sydney! I’ll always remember my dad buying a large assortment of fireworks and sitting in the backyard enjoying them. The sparklers were so much fun. I never remember any of us being burned by one. You could write your name in the air with them. Did you do something like that?

    • Yes, I use to write with the sparklers. They were so much fun for a child. Almost magical! I used to like the little snakes too. Those things that you light and all this stuff just snakes out. Not sure what they were called but they were cool to watch. What memories! Not fireworks but we use to play with caps too! And not just in the toy guns. Used to make them go off with rocks smashing on them. Oh the dangers of my childhood

  4. Oh, there’s nothing like those big family gatherings. I live in Canada and the rest of the family are in England. I love it here, but my one regret is that my children have never experience the kind of get-togethers you described. Wonderful post. Thanks

  5. I wish my children had known my side of the family as I did. My husband’s family isn’t quite so large or crazy . They did at least have cousins and lots of family holidays. Not the 4th though.

  6. Thanks for all the great comments. My husband reminded me of how we had taken my son’s bike, maybe even the electric one, to the runway and he was the envy of all the other kids and how my dau had a real size baby and had been pushing it in the stroller. My husband picked it up by one arm and tossed in the car and just about gave a couple old ladies a heart attack as they thought it had been real!! Fun Days. Hope everyone enjoys the show wherever they are tonight.

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