Many of us have traditions for the fourth of July holiday. For some, it’s a family BBQ, for others it’s a parade. I know I love the Edgartown July 4th parade, but whatever it is, it’s what makes the holiday such a special part of the Summer.
Luckily for us, we happen to be on Martha’s Vineyard, and the fourth of July is a lot of fun here!
A new tradition for the Cramer family’s July 4th celebration is the Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association’s Independence Day Parade. It’s recent because it’s a children’s parade, and we’re still relatively new at this parent thing. This is only our third parade. Some people have been doing this for years and years!
This is an event that children love! They get dressed up in red, white, and blue clothes, get to wear all sorts of crazy fourth of July inspired hats and jewelry. Their bikes and wagons are donned with American flags and banners. Even their pets come dressed in festive attire.
For us, we have to start the day on the right foot. Breakfast is red, white, and blue — strawberries, blueberries, and yogurt! Then it’s time to decorate our Radio Flyer wagon. Our wagon will be looking pretty good this year.
Then we go meet Charly’s friend, Declan, who lives down the street. Off we go, three excited kids, four happy parents.
The kids line up on West Clinton Avenue around 9:30am (by Alison Shaw’s gallery). The parade starts promptly at 10 a.m. The kids are excited, parents and grandparents are proudly smiling. Summer friends are reunited, and everyday friends revel in the pure joy of this simple, small town tradition.
Through the Campgrounds we go, around the Tabernacle, stopping here and there to say hi to people, remarking how cute our kids are (and there is an abundance of cute kids in this parade). It really is a cute, sweet little parade. I love it, and it all ends with the band playing the National Anthem
n less than an hour, it’s over, and back home we go. Slowly meandering the rest of the way, saying hi to strangers on porches just because it’s what you do here. Small town America is alive and well, and is really awesome!
It’s not even 11 a.m., and you’ve just had one of the best times of the Summer as a parent. The photos say it better than I can. Then to continue the fun, it’s off to the beach, catch a nap, and then of course to the Edgartown fourth of July Parade.
We miss the fireworks these days sadly. Two sleeping kiddos are not conducive to a lot of late night activities. But, even with missing a few things, never have I loved this holiday as I do now. Seeing things through the eyes of your kids makes these things that much more special.
Whatever your July 4th traditions are, I wish you a wonderful, memorable day. Let’s also not forget to take a moment to thank all of us who have made this holiday possible. Those who have helped us get our freedom, and those who help us keep it. Happy Birthday America!
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