July 4th . . . Celebrated on the Actual July 4th

I love visiting my parents’ town, West Point,  for Independence Day.  Here’s reason #1:

Awwww.  Who’s cuter?  I can’t decide.  My dad took on the awesome task on Saturday of giving me a golf lesson.  He’s a great teacher — I actually made a ball go up in the air!  In the direction I wanted!  Sweet.

But here’s the main attraction in West Point:

THE PARADE!  As you can see, the Casket Man made a featured appearance, along with the plumbing-themed float.

Annnnnnnnd let’s not forget the candy. My kids quickly learned that jumping up and down and yelling “candy! candy! candy!” got results. The people in the parade threw gobs of the stuff down on us.

You know what I learned?  A piece of saltwater taffy thrown from the height of a fire engine can really sting when it lands on you.

Eleanor had brought her parasol along and found it handy for collecting loot.

Who can blame her?  Here’s the result:

Now, keep in mind that this is just 2/3rds of the candy they collected.  It wouldn’t all fit in that big bowl.  I picked out the lone chocolate item (an Almond Joy) right away.  Lollipops were put into service later that afternoon during our family viewing of Cars 2.  The rest was hauled off on Monday by Brian to fuel the endeavors of clinical pathologists at ARUP.  (Excepting the handfuls of stuff the kids grabbed when we weren’t looking.)

Dinner that evening featured a strawberry pie.  Featuring fresh strawberries from my mother’s garden.  It couldn’t be more perfect.

In the evening, we headed to the back of the West Point park to see the local fireworks.  West Point has grown enough in recent years to merit its own fairly impressive July 4th celebration.  I mean, they had a Beatles tribute band and everything.

The back of the field is mostly empty — the crowds are all at the other end of the park — so we had room to romp.  I threw a Frisbee around with Dad, Brian, and Alex (I haven’t Frisbee’d in eons).  Arial fireworks became legal in Utah this summer, and we could see mini-fireworks blasting into the air all along the horizon.

In the meanwhile, the kids ran around with glow sticks.  Many, many glowsticks.

My mom had found a big package of something like 30 glowsticks on sale.  There were enough to share with other kids nearby, and enough for experiments.  They made a giant ring to throw a football through.  Later they connected a dozen of them to make a glow-in-the-dark jump rope.  William looped them on all on his arms and legs, and Eleanor piled them around her neck and danced around.  Even Katie had a few wrapped around her car seat, to prevent people walking on top of her.

Katie, remarkably, was not afraid of the fireworks at all.  She just sat on my lap and smiled at them.  Eleanor, however, was once again curled in Daddy’s lap.  The rockets were going off right over our heads, it was fabulous.

The sad thing is that my camera ran out of batteries before I could take any pictures of the glowy-ness.  But perhaps it would be against Fate to have a  completely perfect day, right?

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