Monday, July 17, 2006

4th Of July: Traditions and Festivities

In Atlanta, as it is probably everywhere else in the good ole U.S. of A, the 4th of July is a day of traditions.
I, like 55,000 other runners-- and like my father use to when I was a kid, got up at the crack of dawn and headed down to Buckhead to torture myself on the legendary hills of the Peachtree Roadrace and then celebrated post race with a breakfast of beers in Piedmont Park. Ryan and the kids, like my siblings and I use to, participated in another 4th of July tradition. Nothing is more patriotic than a good old fashioned bike parade. I mean seriously, can you think of anything else that just screams "Independence!" than a bunch of kids and their decorated bikes?Most certainly this is what our forefather's were thinking of when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. Life, Liberty, and the right to decorate a bike. I mean, come on: Decorate/Declaration-- the words are way too similar for it to be a coincidence.

And lest someone thinks me a bad mother for not being there to see my kids in the bike parade please know that I was head chair of the bike decorating committee--and by head chair I mean I was The Parent who decorated said bikes the afternoon before and picked out festive outfits to be worn in said parade.

Beau and Carmella pose on their decorated bikes. Such cute little patriots!

Baby Pat in his stroller with Uncle Pat, Carmella and dog Chloe.
Best pals Beau and Chase.

And the winner is. . .don da don . . .CARMELLA! The princess stopped swimming long enough to graciously accept her prize:
After the parade I met up with them at the neighborhood pool for some 4th of July traditional BBQ fare, and some swimming and silly games. The rest of the 6 pack joined us all--Deedee, Steph, Max and Livi along fellow bike paraders--Meme, baby Pat, Uncle Pat, Chase, Tara and Dusty.

There were a few games the kids competed in but the finale was the "Big Splash" where Uncle Pat and Ryan proved top competitors. Uncle Pat got the award for most artistic jump.
Here he is showing off those years he spent as a ballet devotee and karate master:Ryan was in the jump- off for biggest splash but someone else ended up winning. I think you can see the winner in the background of Uncle Pat's picture.

While the bike parade and the BBQ fare and the Peachtree Roadrace are all great 4th of July traditions
I just don't think there is single more American thing you can do than tailgating. Nothing says freedom to me like a good old fashioned tailgate party in the parking lot to watch some fireworks. Sure, fried chicken, potato salad and watermelon probably would have been the more proper fare to enjoy for a firework tailgating party but we had pizza from the local pizzeria instead. It was just as yummy.
Ryan and Dusty entertained and wowed the kids with their "legal" fireworks. I completely understand the thrill of the sparklers but I don't understand the worms that just burn out. They just look gross. Max and Livi thought the sparklers were going to be loud so they covered their ears in anticipation.

Bubbles and Poppy stopped by to hang out and watch the fireworks. Pop and Lala were out for a run but in their defense they did attend the bike parade.

And finally, after a very, very long wait, the fireworks.

First thing Beau asked the next morning when he woke up was for more "ire orks." Temper tantrum ensued once I told him he had to wait til next year. I tell you, the boy is going to be trouble.

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