Every year on the Fourth of July, I join all the kids in my neighborhood, young and old alike, and participate in our annual Fourth of July children's parade. Using streamers, balloons, and whatever else we come up with, we decorate our bikes, strollers, and even tractors, and walk around the half-mile circle. After we march, we say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing happy birthday to America, and enjoy cookies and punch. Twenty years ago, my mom founded this parade so it holds a bit of a special place in my heart.
Because the Fourth of July has meant so much to me, I asked each member of team MSLR to tell me about their favorite Fourth memories. We'd also love to hear about your favorite Independance Day memory. Please share in the comments below.
Lisa Mantineo, producer, "Everyday Food" - My most memorable Fourth of July was Liberty weekend, 1986. It was the celebration of the restoration and centenary of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Having been born and raised 15 minutes from New York City, I can still recall my family crowded around the television watching President Reagan and all of the festivities take place. I can still remember the pride I was filled with as Neil Diamond sang “Coming to America.”
Ryan Brockington, host, "Living Today" - Every year, a carnival would come through the small town I grew up in on July 4, and my entire family would prepare for fun and fireworks. When I was 13, my mom finally let me ride the old ferris wheel that was for 'big kids' -- after I got stuck at the top for 45 minutes, I realized amusement park rides weren't for me.
Betsy Karetnick, host, "Morning Living" - July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. The focus is on food and fun, and I am a HUGE fireworks fan. However, two years ago I decided to try something new. I invited my sister and mother to celebrate my mom's birthday (around the same time) at a place I always wanted to visit. So on July 4th weekend, we flew to Paris! The highlight of the trip was Monet's garden. Of course we couldn't complain about the food, the other sights, or a few days in London on the way home either. I can honestly say it was one of the best weeks I ever spent with my two best friends and I'm lucky to have had the chance.
Brian Kelsey, host, "Morning Living" - My favorite memory was walking to our high school to watch the fireworks every year. That unmistakable wonderful odor of firework smoke and bug spray lives on forever!
Sarah Carideo, summer intern - My favorite Fourth of July memory is of a year or two ago. My whole paternal side of the family lives in the same town, so gatherings are always interesting. My uncle's birthday is in July so the whole month is dubbed "Stevefest" and the abundance of fireworks for sale fuels the insanity. For the 4th, we all gathered at my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate, and we finished off the day with store-bought fireworks in the backyard. We blared patriotic music, slapped away mosquitos, and shared our commentary about the display. Since then, my grandfather has had to move to an elderly home, so that was the last celebration we were all able to have together. It was a simple event, but a special memory.
Sandy Gluck, host, "Everyday Food" - For several years, the fireworks barges were on the East River in Manhattan. Many of the residents of my small apartment building would gather on the roof to watch them -- we'd share cocktails, fireworks, and good times.
Kelly Whipple, summer intern - Every year on the 4th, my entire family goes to my grandparents' house and gathers for a day-long picnic and pool party. At the end of the day, we sit on their lawn, watch fireworks, and make s'mores.