By Amy Tittle
As I have pondered over this past week about what we will do to celebrate this years Fourth of July, I couldn’t help but think about what everyone is doing back in my town, the big city, to prepare for this holiday. Most of my friends and family are buying fireworks from stores similar to the ones set up here along Main Street, while others have taken a whole day to drive over the Georgia state line to get the “good” fireworks. Most of the really good, bright, loud fireworks are illegal in Florida.
Most of my family back home in Jacksonville have already bought all the food for grilling, chips for dipping and anything to put on ice including the lip smacking watermelons. My mom traditionally makes cherry cheesecake or blueberry cheesecake for dessert and some type of yummy lemonade to accompany it. Still debating if I should attempt to make those for my family as my parents will not be here with us this year. Celebrating back home we would normally gather at my moms to grill and eat, traditionally slice open that ripe melon and then close the night off with music, fireworks and some kind of ice cream.
Last year my family and I spent the entire Fourth of July Day at Jacksonville Beach playing in the ocean and building sand castles, then retreated back to my moms for dessert and our own fireworks. Often times we would go back in the evening to Jacksonville Beach or downtown to The Jacksonville Landing to watch fireworks over the water, which is beautiful. The traffic afterwards is worth the great show of fireworks displayed.
The beaches in Jackson-ville and the downtown area offer fun things on holidays but are very crowded. So, if you’re native to there, you know if you’re planning on going you better get there very early to get a good spot and know when leaving you will be waiting in traffic and getting home late.
I have to say we will not miss any of the hustle bustle of this city-style traditional holiday. We are very contented to stay here in the peaceful Valley and eat, drink and be merry and have our own little fireworks show, Tittle style.
Back home in the city you probably would be going to bed still hearing the crackles, pops, buzzes and whistles, and they normally do not stop until the sun comes up on the 5th of July. In the past I’ve thought how inconvenient this tradition is to fire off these fireworks all night because I had little ones sleeping, but now my little ones are the ones sounding off the big cakes and lighting up the neighbor’s yards.
It’s funny how the holidays change as your family grows and changes. This year Matt will probably smoke some kind of pork all day putting to use his mad barbecue skills and I will prepare some side dishes, desserts and yummy thirst quenching beverages. We have already purchased several bags of fireworks from the local stores set up here downtown, so needless to say Matt, I and the kids are beyond ready to set them ablaze and celebrate. We are excited to be able to experience the 4th of July here in Water Valley this year and are expecting one never to forget.
Our family wishes everyone a safe, fun and patriotic Fourth of July.