Picnics, reunions, parades and fireworks are the most common events associated with the Fourth of July. It just wouldn't be a Fourth of July without at least one or two of these events taking place.
I know over the years, I have been present at a great deal of these events and always look forward to more.
Growing up in Hancock means you attend many picnics, parades and fireworks displays. My grandmother lived in Hancock, so the Fourth of July was also a time when all her children and grandchildren would gather at her house for a huge pot luck and reunion. It was lots of fun, with plenty of food, games and conversation to last most of the day.
In those early years the parade meant different things to me than it does today. I was excited for the candy, bands and floats but was even more excited when I was asked to ride on one of the parade units.
One year that I recall is when Mom and a few other mothers made Dutch costumes for me and three other girls. We then road on the church float featuring a Dutch theme. Our costumes even included wooden shoes. Where they came from I am not sure, but I still have the costume and shoes along with pictures and great memories.
Sitting on the sidelines just didn't seem quite as fun after that. However when my children came along, and now with grandchildren, the anticipation for a good parade is back, as I watch them enjoy the festivities and anxiously await the start of each parade.
Despite the occasional changes in a few July 4 events, I am so glad that there are some traditions that just do not change. I will never get tired of the picnics or reuniting with family and friends. There is always something new and special at the parades and the fireworks displays just keep getting bigger and better.