My little town LOVES to celebrate Independence Day! It's an all day event that takes a full year of planning by a handful of dedicated volunteers. They have contests to choose the Grand Marshall, and to decide the theme of the celebration. This years theme was "MILLTOWN ROCKS THE FOURTH OF JULY!" We play host to visitors from all over the county.
The day starts at 6:00am with a Fishing Rodeo for the kids. Young anglers can be seen lining the Main St. bridge and a host of other prime fishing spots throughout town, all in the hopes of "Catching the Big One" and going down in Borough history until the next year.
Next comes a 5K race and Fun Run. Runners of all ages and abilities participate. The race starts off with a bang, literally! One of our residents has a cannon that is used to start the race. You can hear it from several blocks away!
One of my favorite parts of the day is the annual parade. People start placing their chairs and blankets along Main St. from early morning. It's funny when you look across the street or next to you, chances are the same people who are sitting near you sat there last year and the year before. It's almost like folks inherit their own little space for the parade from their ancestors. We've been sitting in the same spot for forty years!
Our parade honors veterans and active duty members of all branches of service. My heart swells with pride when the flag is paraded past, some people salute, others remove their hats, and others cheer as "Old Glory" passes by!
Members of all the local organizations also march. We have Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, members of the First Aid Squad and Fire Departments, dancing schools, church groups, and a host of other groups. But I must confess MY favorite part of the parade are the Bagpipes! I know they are not for everyone, but for me it wouldn't be a parade without them! I've ALWAYS had a secret desire to learn the pipes, maybe that will go on my "Bucket List"
And you can't forget "The Mummer's" the crowds go wild as they do their strut. The costumes are so wild and colorful, they never disappoint!
After the parade the crowds head to Borough Park for an afternoon of rides, and relay races. There are awards for floats, marching bands, and various civic organizations. All you can eat hot dogs and soda are served by the Fire Department. And various bands play into the night. Some folks return home to BBQ with family and friends, while others wait in anticipation of the fireworks spectacular to begin.
The view from my backyard...
As the day draws to a close it's important to remember why we really celebrate. It's not just a day for BBQ's, parades, relay races, and fishing derbies. It's a day to remind us of the struggle for freedom from religious persecution, and freedom from oppression. There are many who gave their lives to help form this country, and many who still fight today to aid others in enjoying the same freedoms we do.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
LAND OF THE FREE AND THE
HOME OF THE BRAVE