To our international readers, The United States of America celebrates our declaration of independence from Britain on July 4th, 1776. It is July 4th and The Nomads are celebrating the 2016 Independence Day.
Commonly, on the weekend, you will catch us out and about on some sort of adventure. However, today we went traditional. The common practices when celebrating the Fourth of July are three-fold: parades, grilling and fireworks.
So, this morning we woke up, had a quick breakfast, packed some bags with water and a blanket, then off we went. The temperature outside was in the upper 80’s F to low 90’s F. The sky was clear and the wind was a gentle breeze. The parade was about a mile or so away, so we walked.
We got to the part of main street where the parade was supposed to come out, found an open area along the street, dropped a blanket on the sidewalk and setup camp. It wasn’t too long before the festivities began. This was not our first parade, obviously. However, it was our first Montana parade. And, we have noticed that each state has a variation on parades. So, we were anxious to see this version of a 4th of July parade.
It began with a police vehicle clearing the way followed by people on horseback carrying the Montana and USA flags. They were followed by one wagon after another being pulled by horses. Throughout the parade there were old military vehicles, classic cars and trucks, all terrain vehicles, tractors (field and lawn sizes) and some people marching, tumbling or skating.
It seems a Montana parade has lots of horses and cowboys but no floats. When it came to an end we unanimously agreed that it was an enjoyable, good, hometown parade: very friendly, entertaining and not crowded. Once the parade concluded, we packed up our sidewalk campsite and headed back to home base.
Once we got home, I cleaned then fired up the grill. We decided to have some grilled smoked sausage and veggies. Our whole family loves the smell and taste of grilled food. In fact, we grilled again for dinner: chicken and baked purple potatoes (yes…purple). At both meals, we sat at our dinner table having regular family discussions that cover a wide range of topics from cartoons to world politics. Pretty entertaining conversation. (Sorry…no pix. We were very hungry at both meals. So, use your imagination.)
At the end of the night, we packed up and drove to a public park where the fireworks were being viewed from. It is a tradition to set off fireworks in the USA as it symbolizes the battles that were fought for our independence. We arrived at the park almost an hour before the show. We setup our area with camping and beach chairs pointed in the direction that we thought the fireworks would appear.
However, from the time we got there until the main festivities began and even during the show, other people were firing off fireworks. I can honestly say that I have never been in a place where so many other people were firing off fireworks during a city sponsored fireworks show. It was actually quite distracting.
But, I will have to say, the folks that did the main firework show did a great job. There was such a variety of types of fireworks and they even coordinated colors so that red, white and blue ones flew up in the air at the same time. The show lasted for about 30 minutes and it ended with crackling bang!
As we were packing up, the sprinklers in the park turned on. I am not sure if it was to make people leave or to ensure there were no ancillary fires. We were lucky enough that the area where we were did not get wet so we were able to pack up in peace. We parked a little distance from the park so we were able to jump in, no traffic and not blocked in. Within minutes we were home and ready to call it a night. What a great 2016 Independence Day celebration. We are thankful for our freedoms, especially our freedom to move around like we do as Nomads. Safe Travels.