I love the 4th of July.
The weather is usually great, it's a good excuse to see friends and family, the food is fantastic.
As a kid, it usually included going to my aunt and uncle's lake house, Mt. Pleasant fireworks with my dad's popcorn, the big fireworks on Lake Michigan (ALWAYS with good friends), popsicles, potato salad, bbq chicken by dad on the grill, bonfires, pool time and loads of sunshine.
And, the occasional matching t-shirts from Old Navy.
Seriously, who didn't have to wear one of these as a kid? And, a better question, will they EVER stop making them?
This was our third 4th of July in CO. And, while I have very high standards set by good ole Racine, I have to say, Lake City does the 4th well. If they didn't, I'd be tempted to travel back to WI just for the holiday.
It was a little bittersweet for us that this was the first year John wasn't riding a horse in the parade. It is so fun to watch him and other camp people riding by on our sweet horses, but this year he actually got to sit with us! So, that's fun.
We live in a town of between 300-400ish but for the 4th, our population EXPLODES. There are people everywhere. My parents were here for the 4th last year and laughed when I told them this morning that we actually had a traffic jam in town after the fireworks last night. We sat still for no more than 5 minutes. BUT, to us, that's a HUGE traffic jam.
Anyway, on to pictures!
The day starts here with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at the school (which we didn't go to) followed by a parade (which we did go to).
Somebody was mesmerized by the firetrucks...
I think he gets that from his Papa Scott.
Then, this fella came wandering through.
I got to see this lovely lady. (Check out her blog for tasty recipes)
This is most people's opinion... especially during this holiday...
This little lady was a trooper in the hot sun. She especially enjoyed when they started throwing candy. (note the clenched fist)
The parade is followed by booths full of goodies, crafts, and fair food around the park and near our shops "downtown" where you can find ice cream, coffee drinks, t-shirts, souvenirs, candy,... all sorts of goodies, all with an old-fashioned, small town feel.
The park is packed with tourists and locals and everyone anxiously anticipates the start of the foot races.
The afternoon is spent with all different age divisions participating in foot races at the town park.
And, cut throat. Some of these races get intense!
We made the executive (read: mommy and daddy) decision to take our kiddos home to rest. But, not before getting our annual turkey leg to share. (Yum!)
The kids were exhausted. And, in true Lake City fashion, it down-poured during the afternoon anyway. Here, that is welcome. It cools off the heat of the day and always brings that sweet mountain smell. I think that must be what Heaven smells like.
Anyway, the next stop for us was dinner, games and fireworks with some sweet friends that evening.
We played this game (that I can't remember the name of) and other than the times when my third-trimester-sized belly got in the way, it was really fun!
This little man is not picky, as long as it has wheels and he can get some good speed, he'll ride it.
And, then there is this girl.
We do NOT take enough photos together.
But, I try to get plenty of them!
Ok, so we were up the hill where Lake City starts. There is a valley you can't see in this picture that town is nestled in.
WAY across the valley (I had my 'big girl' zoom lens on my camera) and up another hill is a water tower. That is where they shoot the fireworks off from. This picture is of them watering down the brush near the water tower. Can't be too careful!
Here's a picture pulled back a little further. The circle is around that water tower.
And, this was my first attempt at firework photos with my 'big girl' camera. What do you think?
After the fireworks, when all the kids were nice and sleepy, someone wrapped up the little miss and she turned to me and said, "Look! Mom! Cozy," with the sweetest smile on her face.
I'm so thankful for the men and women who have gone before us and for those who are currently devoting their lives to making sure that my family and I can have days like this.
Hope your 4th of July was as great as mine.