Whether it’s stacking burgers on the grill, spending a day on the lake or just gathering as a family for sweet tea and conversation, everyone has a favorite holiday memory.
This week, we observe a day to be thankful for our freedom and to remember everyone that has helped shape the independence we enjoy. Our team members reminisce on their favorite Fourth of July traditions that make every year special.
“There’s nothing I love more than a small town parade and fireworks show. However, last year I was on the beach in Barcelona on July 4th and then watched the sunset from a rooftop over looking the city. This year I will be on the beach in Cancun and am hoping for another beautiful sunset. So I guess I’ve created a new tradition. Hmmm. Where should I be on the beach next year? Perhaps Italy? Greece? Costa Rica? Or maybe I’ll stay closer to home and celebrate Fourth of July on one of my favorite Florida beaches.”
“Each year we spend July 4th at my husband’s family home at Harker’s Island, a special part of the world way down in eastern North Carolina. We all gather, and “all” means 16 of us now (including eight grandchildren under age 10) for a few days to slow down, catch up and enjoy the simpler things in life. Actually, with all those kids, it’s really not that simple. My July 4th in words: Jean’s chocolate cake, family, Cape Lookout, parade, fireworks, down east, shrimp boil, boat days and time to read.”
“Growing up, the best Fourth of July celebration happened in a small Missouri town in my concrete driveway. At least according to my nine-year-old self. Dad would whip up some hamburgers on our trusty (ancient) charcoal grill. Mom would mix up our favorite drink. Made of half lemonade and half sweet tea, we appropriately dubbed it “Fifty-Fifty.” (It wasn’t until a hot second later that I learned someone had already invented this drink. Thanks, Arnold Palmer.) Then came the show. A box of TNT Pop-Its and sparklers. Armed with a few matches and that Fifty-Fifty, our little family of four made a host of wonderful, treasured July 4th memories.”
“I have never really had a set tradition for the Fourth of July. I have spent it in several different states with several families throughout my life, each experience providing a distinct memory. However, no matter where I am or who I am with, fireworks have always been there. One time it was cheap grocery store fireworks in the back alleyway of my grandmother’s home in Seattle. Another was an impressive, professional show put on for hundreds of viewers at Stone Mountain in Georgia. Last year I witnessed a 20-minute spectacle at the Charlotte Knight’s baseball stadium. I don’t really care what I do as long as there are fireworks!”
“I’d say my tradition is a big cookout. We get all of the family (and some friends) to my father-in-law’s house and grill hot dogs and hamburgers. We just hang out together and have a great time. There’s almost always chocolate cake, too!”
Written by intern Nathan J. McDaniel, a senior at Western Carolina University.