Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The 4th of July

Since we live in the land of the midnight sun (well, almost) it's very hard to get enough darkness to enjoy a fireworks display during the summer months. Of course conversely, the fireworks for New Years can be held at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. To combat this little problem our town began the tradition of having its fireworks display at midnight on the 3rd…well, I guess that it's technically the 4th at midnight. This allows enough darkness to see the fireworks although, as you can see from this picture of last years show, it's not totally dark out even then.

We have made it a family tradition to head over to my mom's house at 8pm and hang out there eating good food, watching stupid movies, playing games, and trying desperately to keep the kids awake long enough to see the fireworks. Then at 5 to Midnight we wrap their jammy clad bodies up in warm blankets and run across the street to a great look out point 50 feet above the water with a killer view of all of downtown and the fireworks.

The show usually goes for about 30 minutes and we then immediately run back to our strategically parked cars and head out at top speed to try and beat the other 20 thousand folks who are shortly going to be clogging up the roadways. We get home around 1am and carry the then sleeping children into bed and collapse ourselves only to get up early the next day so we can head downtown again for the parade.

The girls love to watch the parade and collect the 10 tons of saltwater taffy the burly fireman chuck at their heads. I love to cheer for the firemen (and not just because they are burly), the policemen, and the soldiers; I jeer at the politicians I don't like and last year blatantly snubbed the Governor of Alaska. The best part for me is getting to “our spot” early and then walking up and down the parade route socializing with everyone we know. Of course the strategic parking and speedy get away also come into play when the parade is over.

So why, you may ask, are you sitting at home blogging instead of hanging out at mom’s anticipating the fireworks? I’m glad you asked! My friend and co-work decided to move to Colorado last week and somehow I got stuck organizing the parade “float” for our company. Not only did I have to spend the last three days begging tiny people to wear the scary cartoon character costumes, I also had to pull just about everything together from scratch because SOMEONE didn’t leave any notes on ANYTHING. Now I have to drag my lazy butt down there at some ungodly hour to “stage” for the parade.

Now instead of sitting on the sidelines cheering and jeering I get to be cheered – anyone doing any jeering is getting a fist full of taffy in the face at 20 miles an hour! Yes indeed, I get to walk in the parade handing out goodies to children and trying to keep the costume wearers from doing anything inappropriate…

Since I had to suffer I decided to make everyone I know suffer too and now all of my family; brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles, and of course my hubby and children, are all walking in the parade with me. (It sounded like a good idea at the time!) Since they don’t have to be at the staging area until 10am, they get to stay up and watch fireworks, while I, on the other hand, am off to bed as soon as I hit publish.

Wish me luck!


Tami said...

Sounds like fun ;) How'd it go?

Mom of 5 said...

That's interesting-the sunlight issue !
Hope all went well. Happy 4th.