The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
The fireworks displays on the 4th of July have always been for me the most beautiful and exciting part of each celebration. A few years ago I was very disappointed that the sky was cloudy and rainy and we were not planing to go see the fireworks. As the sky grew darker and darker, a great thunderstorm rolled in and we could see flashes of light and hear rumbles of thunder in the distance. As I watched out my window I saw one of the best fireworks shows I had ever seen with bolts of lightning zigzagging across the sky and huge crashes of thunder. I shall always remember it as the year that God provided the fireworks and it was awesomely magnificent!
In our small town when I was growing up, the 4th of July celebration began with a parade. When I was very small I was allowed to ride on the vintage firetruck at the front of the parade. It was a little scary when they blew the siren but I was reassured when I saw my father walking along beside the firetruck and my mother waving in the crowd. When I was a little older we decorated my doll carriage and I felt very grown up walking my baby doll in the parade. I always wanted to be a part of the parade and often decorated my bike spending hours using colored crepe paper and winding it in between the spokes on the tires.
Following the parade the town put on a small carnival in the park and I remember riding a little train and playing carnival games in hopes of winning a stuffed animal. I don’t think I ever won but it was fun trying.
We always had a wonderful picnic dinner that Mother prepared when I arrived home. Roast beef on homemade rolls with chips and icy cold deviled eggs and marshmallow fruit salad. Dessert was strawberry shortcake on made from scratch muffin cakes, divided in half and covered with big scoops of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries and a dab of whip cream. Yum, it was delicious! This was always followed by the town putting on a fantastic fireworks show about dusk. We would take a large blanket to the park and lie down snuggling up to each other and ooh and ah after each one went off. Those sure were fun times
Float Building for the Parade
After I was married, we moved to a small town that also had a wonderful 4th of July parade and fireworks. Each year we had so much fun dreaming up and putting together a float that consisted of a wagon and some big boxes. It was usually pulled by our oldest son on his tricycle or bike. One year we did, “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby” with a covered wagon and a rocket ship.
Our daughter rode in the rocket ship and her baby brother in the covered wagon and they were quite content with lollypops to stay put. Our oldest son pulled it on his bicycle and he deserves the award because it was quite a load!
One of the most fun floats we ever built was when my sister, her husband and son came down to visit and we designed the Pollution Plucker. It had multiple arms and legs made out of bathroom and kitchen utensils. It was a very funny looking contraption and had all the parade viewers laughing as the kids rode by pulling it on their trikes. It was designed to be a litter picker upper and the two boys were dressed like litter bugs with bits of paper glued to their outfits. The idea was to harness your litterbugs. Our daughter dressed in her best white dress was happy to ride inside it. Needless to say it won first prize which thrilled the kids. I think every town needs a Pollution Plucker!
Now that we have grand kids, we have discovered that one of the best fireworks shows is on the beach. The excitement begins early in the day. We set up our lounge chairs and watch a beautiful sunset going down over the ocean. The children wade in the reflected light along the beach searching for shells.
Then the Uncles and Dads provide an early display of Roman Candles shot from a large sand castle that they have worked on with the kids throughout the day. As it grows darker we can see beautiful fireworks being shot off all all along the beach. Seeing all these beautiful star-bursts in so many colors and listening to the laughter of the grand kids with their faces lit up with light from their sparklers fills my heart with joy. And so I look up and whisper a prayer of thankfulness to my Savior that we live in freedom and I pray that God will continue to bless America and enable all the people of the world to live in freedom.