Living in MN, I look forward to the summer starting in November. No lie. July 4th is the peak, and has been home to a family gathering of sorts at my parent's cabin since I was a little girl. Green Lake in Spicer, MN throws the best Independence Day parade in the state, as far as I'm concerned. We lay out a red, white and blue blanket on the curb the night before to save seats, and my dad drives everyone over in the boat, right before the parade begins. There is no shortage of candy, the fire trucks are all shined up and sound their sirens for 2 hours straight. The local grocery store hands out fresh peaches, Q102 is blasting classic 80's- 90's tunes, and everyone lining the streets is dressed in patriotic gear.
After the parade, our tradition is to go back for a pot luck at the cabin, complete with homemade Minnesota dishes. Mom's ham balls, hash brown potatoes, fruit pizza, fresh green beans, and Keebler Cookie Salad to name a few. Weather can still be unpredictable, even on July 4. But typically the afternoon is spent on the front lawn, wading in the water, riding in the boat and tubing. The 4th of July wouldn't be complete without a fireworks show over the lake, mosquitos the size of small birds, microwave popcorn and PBS at the Capital playing in the background.
Here's to a Happy 4th of July, spent with family and friends, celebrating our country's independence. Enjoy YOUR traditions, and make some new ones. PS, it's what's inside.