July Fourth Celebrations

Here in America, we have a holiday called July Fourth. Of course, there’s a July 4 everywhere, but for some reason (I’m sure lexicographers have studied this) we rarely call it Independence Day. It’s simply The Fourth and it’s meant to be a celebration of our start as a nation. We put up flags. We have parades. Politicians pontificate. We eat BBQ.

I rather like the flags. Ours is a cheerful and bold red, white and blue. The number of stars changed as the country expanded and added states. But it still looks much like the ones on this Wisconsin poultry farm’s porch, around 1915.

"Mother" on a Wisconsin poultry farm

I live in a little town that loves The Fourth. We have an Old Home Day celebration on a Saturday before or after. Like all good Fourth events, there’s pomp and circumstance. The Honored Citizen, and Conservationist of the Year are announced. There’s a corn shucking contest (the corn is cooked later at the Fireman’s BBQ.) There’s an art show and pet show and a dunking booth.

What makes my little town the best town for celebrating The Fourth is that while we have all of these classic events, what we don’t allow (not anywhere in town that day) are politicians. None kissing babies or asking for signatures or speechifying.

We do have a parade. A parade without politicians. We have a parade with homegrown floats, a few vintage cars, a town hearse (this year pulled by two Belgian draft horses!) AND we have a librarian drill team. The Fourth doesn’t get much better than this.

Happy Fourth everyone!


  1. It sounds like our Fourth of July parade in Moscow, Vt., once featured on Chales Kuralt On the Road show. We have the Fire trucks, home made floats, a few horses, and the ladies lawn chair drill team. The marching music is provided by a local radio station and the homeowners open their windows, turn their radios up very loud and fflags are waved by all. Happy Independence Day America!

  2. Hometown July the 4th’s are always the best. Where everyone knows their neighbors and have cookouts, sports, and other events together.

  3. We have a library drill team too in Cambria, CA but our parade comes on Labor Day. Sounds a lot like yours.

  4. No politicking. Everyone is going to want to move to your town!

  5. Did you by chance enter any of your menagerie in the pet contest! Give it up for the Librarian Drill Team! Happy Birthday America!

    • Years ago my dog won the best pet award. The next year adults were banned from the pet show :) Then my son took a chicken, but she got out of the crate and chaos ensued. There was quite the write-up in the local newspaper. That was our last year in the pet show!

      • That must have been hilarious – a chicken on the loose. Thank you for sharing that fun bit of history.

  6. No such parades here but there is the annual Coronado 5k and the night-time fireworks in all the usual spots. I bet it would be fun and educational to come to your neck of the woods to celebrate the 4th. Some real and lasting traditions, I’m sure. Happy 4th to you and your family. But on Thursday, it’s back to work!

    • There is SO much history here. I’m around the corner from Minuteman National Historic Park that has several 18th c houses open to the public and landscape close to what it was in 1775. There’s Walden Pond, the Old North Bridge and the house where Little Women was written. And more. Worth a visit.

  7. Oh, if only you had seen sense and not kicked us out! There’d be tea shops! An equally nice red white and blue flag (ours are the best two I think), exemplary queuing, PROPER football and over-the-counter codeine.
    But I do like the library drill team… and am still staggered by the table of cakes in your polling station.
    That old girl with the broom looks like she wouldn’t stand much nonsense…