The girls have been quite on my case for not sharing their 4th of July pictures with Mimi and Poppop. So let's start with the morning! Every year we show up bright and early to meet a few others from our church and the health inspector. We prepare and wrap 1,000 hot dogs to distribute, absolutely free, among the thousands of parade goers. I was very impressed with the hard work the girls did, helping make signs, putting the dogs in buns, wrapping them, and dividing them into coolers in groups of 150. (The health inspector was impressed, too!) Then four teams of us grabbed coolers and split up to cover different areas of the parade route. (The rest of the hot dogs were passed out for free along with water, soda, and coffee under a tent in front of the church building. They keep the building open for the public to use the restrooms during the parade, so it gets quite the crowd.)
I absolutely love how excited the girls get every year to do this service for the community. They meet every one from babies to the group from the rest home and are able to greet them with smiles while passing out hot dogs, ketchup and mustard. Even shy little Amarra, who can't bring herself to shout out "Free hot dogs!" with her sister, carries around a bag of condiments and passes them out ...even though you can tell it makes her a little bit nervous.
After a few hours of hard work they were rewarded...they got to keep those bags their condiments were in and fill them with candy from the parade! First the jets do a fly-by over head to start things off, and then the festivities officially begin. The favorite float this year? The characters from old and new Star Wars movies waving flags on a float that bore a large banner, "May the 4th be with you!" Hilarious!
Last year I missed the parade. Joel took the girls, but I was in the hospital, pregnant with Dash, recovering from yet another operation the night before. This year I was a bit overwhelmed at how much things have changed since then...being there for this family tradition and hearing Dash laugh with glee as he played with his sisters and waved his flag.
God Bless America!