The New River Gorge is surrounded by small towns, and it’s perfect for the 4th of July. I came from a much bigger place, but a lot of the traditions are the same.
Back in the day I can remember weaving red, white and blue crape paper through the spokes of my bicycle.
A couple baseball cards taped strategically to the rear forks created the sounds of the motor as they slapped the passing spokes. And a couple of American flags attached to the handle bars.
It meant we were ready for the parade.
All the neighborhood kids got together and rode along with the parade as it went through town, displaying our patriotism and cheering on the veterans and others who marched. Back then I knew the definition of the holiday and why we celebrate it. But it wasn’t until much later that I would understand the true meaning, sacrifice, and perseverance that it represented.
The day always ended with a fireworks display of some kind. Some years it was a magnificent display with a grand finale that left us in awe. Other years it was a neighbor with some illegally imported fireworks that they set off in their back yard (sometimes I was the neighbor).
My favorite memories of the 4th of July are when families got together and celebrated together. Kids running around the yard with sparklers (as a parent I would discourage this), marshmallows over a campfire, hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill. You know, the stereotypical 4th of July that you’d see advertised most everywhere. Watching my daughter Alex when she was six or seven years old holding a sparkler, imitating the Statue of Liberty while singing the Star Spangled Banner, still makes me smile.
If you’re in our neck of the woods around the 4th of July, these 5 tips will help you have the best ever.
- Make sure you have family and friends around you that you like.
- A hike in the Gorge is a great way to start the day.
- Be sure to catch all of the festivities that Fayetteville has to offer.
- Let the kids roast their own marshmallows
- When you watch the fireworks, Ooooo and Ahhhhh as much as possible.
What else? What’s essential to your 4th of July?