So these friends of ours started a tradition years and years ago and now we've joined them in it. We've been participating for the last five fourth of julys; we meet at the park early (7:30ish) and cook breakfast on camping stoves and electric griddles and such. There are probably about 20-30 people. We all enjoy games of catch and visiting while the cooks are at work, and then we enjoy the fruit of their labor. Simultaneously, we set up our spot along the parade route, right next to the park where we're eating, with canopy, chairs, and blankets along the curb for kids. The parade comes by about 10, and our kids get more candy than we know what to do with. Also by now, it's usually ridiculously hot. It's a long parade. Finishes really close to noon. We head home for lunch and chill time. We'd really like naps, but the kids protest with wishes to slip and slide, so we oblige. It is a holiday.
It's a great day already, but there's more! About 5:30 we head back to the park to meet up with everyone again; with dinner in tow, along with snacks, coolers, games, gloves, balls, and sparklers. We eat our dinners; watch the kids play, and there's usually a pretty entertaining game of kids vs. adults in kickball or wiffleball. It seems like a long time now, but the four hours pass quickly and as dusk approaches, kids do snakes and sparklers, and then we all settle in onto the sea of blankets and wait for the fireworks. It's so dark after that we struggle to find our ways back to the cars 100 yards away in the parking lot.
It's a great time; and I think my favorite part of it all is the tradition of it. I look forward to it each year, and I love that my kids will have this memory one day, and maybe even carry it on with their families.....or maybe a modified version of it at least.