Just in case you forgot, I’m here to remind you that it is my favorite time of year! Fourth of July festivities are just around the corner.
And what better way to celebrate our country’s independence than gathering together as a community?
Plus, I almost share a birthday with America. My birthday is July 6. This year is extra special because I’ll be turning 30, so I’m hoping we can celebrate extra big to drown out that nagging voice in the back of my head that is trying to tell me I’m getting old.
This year is also even more special for me because I get to share the community togetherness and celebration of the Linton Freedom Festival with my daughter. It’s her first Fourth of July, and I’m looking forward to my husband and I spending time with her as we head out to the special events.
But, what makes the Independence Day celebration so special to me?
We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. I didn’t get parties where all my friends would get to come over. I didn’t have a lot of family to celebrate with, as my dad’s side of the family lived 200 miles away.
But, every single year there was a big celebration. My parents made sure we went to the carnival every year. Dad would get up extra early on July 4 and set out our chairs at the end of the street, marking the same spot every year to watch the parade. I got to sit and watch the parade as strangers threw candy at me while I sat at the end of my street. And, best of all, it all ended with a bang: the fireworks.
Here I am looking forward to my 30th birthday, and the celebration still hasn’t lost its magic, but the source of my happiness has shifted a little.
Even better: I find myself in the midst of the planning, working with the Freedom Festival Taskforce as they prepare for the days of celebration.
I love watching the little ones get excited as they see a familiar face walking the route or a police officer offering a big wave as they walk by. I love watching as they grab candy to fill their bags, and even better, when they help fill the bags of others who aren’t as quick.
I love seeing our entire county come together for one big celebration, and using their imagination to entertain those of us who are sitting on the sidelines.
The celebration reminds me why I came back to my hometown and plan to stay for the long-haul to raise my family.
Thank you to the volunteers who make that possible.
What is your favorite part of the celebration? Do you have any suggestions to make the festivities even better? Email me or comment on the online story.
Sabrina is the editor of the Greene County Daily World. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.