Once more, with limited finances, there isn’t much that most of my family can do to celebrate the Fourth of July this year except stay home and try to think up special ways to enjoy our nation’s birthday anyway.  Two of our children will be gone from home for a while starting this morning, and they’ll be able to do some memorable things for the holiday.

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July, 2009...
English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July, 2009; Happy Birthday America! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They can work on building Fourth of July memories a lot like I did when I was their age.

Back in my pre-teen to early teen years, July 4th was always something to look forward to because it was time for Salmon River Days in my hometown of Salmon, Idaho.  That town was fairly bustling in those days, and downtown was the place to see and be seen because that’s where everything was happening — a parade down Main Street, sidewalk shopping, entertainment of all kinds.  One of my favorite things to take in during Salmon River Days was motocross racing at a tough track outside of town, listening to the whine of the engines and seeing bikes fly through the air down a steep, neck-breaking, bone-crunching hill.

It was a time for family get-togethers, picnics, and Salmon had some decent fireworks for a town its size.

It was a small-town celebration done up big.  It was a special time to be a kid.

From there, it was on to the celebration put on in Idaho Falls, a bigger community that also knows how to do an American birthday celebration the right way.

For a lot of years, my family has enjoyed getting together with relatives, saving a spot along the banks of the Snake River for hours, doing some reading, and watching the people go by in preparation for the town’s huge fireworks show — one of the biggest pyrotechnic displays west of the Mississippi.

Idaho Falls’ fireworks show is a huge deal, drawing tens of thousands of people not only from surrounding towns but surrounding states as well.  The show is choreographed to music — rock, country, pop, classical (including the songs found in videos below) — that’s simulcast on a local radio station.  I’ve seen some amazing things in that show, including red hearts perfectly forming in the sky along to the words “I love you” from Louis Armstrong’s version of “What A Wonderful World.”

Those are the kinds of things Fourth of July memories are made of, the kinds of things I want my children to look back on with fondness as they celebrate our nation’s birthday themselves.

It’s part of what makes growing up so fun.

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media

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