Monday, July 7, 2014

Anniversary Festival Illuminations

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.  I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more." - from John Adams in a letter to his wife (courtesy of Wikipedia).  

Well, we would have made John Adams proud with our anniversary festival illuminations, but he might have been disappointed with the level of our solemnity, because we had too much fun for solemn acts!  We did make a game of trying to coordinate our sparkler waving so we could take fun pictures.  The photo above is the culmination or our sparkler achievements.  We made words!  Who would have thought making a number 4 would be so hard?!  Maybe we should have tried to make a number 2, since John Adams thought that the vote for Independence on July 2nd would be the day to celebrate, not the signing of the declaration on the 4th.  But, we like a challenge.     

After hamburgers off the grill, and all the trimmings, we settled in with for a backyard fireworks display.  I love fireworks.  I love the colors and noises, but I really love the feeling of relief that comes from a successful fireworks display where no one got exploded and nothing is on fire.  Not like the time we caught my neighbors septic tank gas on fire, but let's not think about that...

I don't know if they had sparklers two hundred and thirty-eight years ago when John Adams suggested pomp and parade, but even if they did, I doubt they had mastered the sparkler skill that we have achieved after a lifetime of practice.  Look!  Someone is making a heart!

It's good to start with some warm up exercises.  Big circles everyone!  

Nothing is more thrilling that a yard full of waving fire brands and small children with wands of flame longer than they are tall!  Hooray Independence Day!

Everyone gets a chance to express themselves with free-form sparkler performance.  

The photo above is one of the many shots I took before we mastered the group sparkler writing.  Come on, Number 4, are you even trying?  What's up with that Y?  Well, it at least everyone was *JOLI while they worked?  Ha ha... No?  

One of the coolest illuminations was the giant orange lantern that rose into the sky on the warm air generated by the flame inside.  It was very lovely, like a miniature hot air balloon.  

This is a screen shot from my phone camera.  Even the little thumbnail images of the sparkler photos look neat to me.  

Some of the family, including my nieces, were dressed for the occasion, and looking very festive.  Also very festive, was our repeated attempts to use a hula hoop.  Ha!  Nothing sets a fun atmosphere like watching all of my family members take turns attempting to swing hips in ways that they haven't swung for very long time.  I made sure to keep the camera in my pocket during that display since I didn't want anyone to return the favor and record my own sorry hula skills for posterity.  I can't believe I've lost my hula skills!  I was so good at that when I was eight years old.  I wonder how that happened?  

My excitement when I saw my cousins display of holiday themed treats might be part of the answer! Who needs hula hoops when there are candy dipped pretzels?!  

Everyone loved the look of the treats so much, we couldn't wait for the burgers come come off the grill, and had to have a pre-dinner sample.  

Even the rice crispy treats were red, white, and blue.  I love America!

As you can see from the snacks that we brought with us, we were super excited to see some true holiday indulgences.  Not that mom's raw zucchini with nutritional yeast, sliced egg, and peppers wasn't tasty and nutritious, but red, white, yellow, and green?  No wonder there were left overs.  

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