As holidays go, July 4 is a major biggie for me that holds it own with Christmas and Thanksgiving at the top of the list. But despite its name, …
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As holidays go, July 4 is a major biggie for me that holds it
own with Christmas and Thanksgiving at the top of the list. But
despite its name, Independence Day isn’t without its dos and
The first would seem like a no-brainer for a holiday most of us
know as July 4, but let’s agree to celebrate it in style on the
fourth day of the month and the fourth only. Observed holidays are
OK for some celebrations, but not this one. I’m not talking about
the home-grown celebrations here (lest my neighbors think I’m
speaking out against the cul-de-sac’s July 5 50-percent-off
fireworks display, which I enjoyed immensely last year and will
participate in this year).
I’m talking about the parades and large-scale fireworks shows
that go on. There always seems to be one community that tries to
beat the competition by staging its celebration a day earlier or
later. This year, it’s Parker that has its events on July 3. Just
do it on the fourth like everyone else, even if it hurts your own
event’s turnout. Besides, one of the best ways to enjoy fireworks
shows is to plant yourself on a hill where you can see three or
four shows in one panorama.
This is nothing new, but Lone Tree needs to dump the wristband
policy for its festivities. If you’re not familiar, the Sweetwater
Park show requires a wristband for admittance and wristbands are
only available to residents of Lone Tree and Acres Green. It’s not
that I want to crash the party, it’s that there is something
un-American about having a July 4 celebration that excludes other
Americans. We have enough real issues with border control going on
right now without Lone Tree getting into the mix.
Eat a hot dog. I’ve been trying to change my diet for the
healthier lately. Add that to the fact that my wife’s doctor told
her to refrain from hot dogs due to carcinogens when she was
pregnant with our daughter, it’s been pretty easy to take dogs off
the list. But it’s the Fourth of July so health be damned. And for
those of you who are thinking, “A hot dog is really a German
frankfurter,” I don’t care. My grandfather was German and one of
the best examples of what it means to be American. That’s the great
thing about being an American, you can borrow from others and call
it your own after a while. In many ways, that’s the whole
Reflect a little, please. It’s a summer party weekend and
there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you give some
thought to what we’re really celebrating. Read a book about the
founding fathers, watch a documentary, thank a veteran or do
whatever you have to do to put the day in its proper context. I
shudder to think of the number of people who treat July 4 as a
three-day weekend and spend no time in reverence to its
Watch at least an inning of a baseball game and listen to 10
minutes of blues or jazz music. There aren’t many things Americans
can call their own (see the hot dog example above), so we need to
make hay with what we have. These are it.
Lastly, be safe. The Fourth of July is a party worth enjoying,
now as much as ever, but do it right and make sure you’re around
for Veterans Day.
Jeremy Bangs is the managing editor of Colorado Community
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