EDITOR'S COLUMN | South End July 4 events were awesome

The United States turned 238 this past Friday and, man, does South Whidbey know how to celebrate.

We’re like countless other communities across the country in that we hold events on the Fourth of July, a day marking the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Also known as Independence Day, it’s a chance to reflect on the birth of our country, to break away from our daily lives and really think about where we came from and what it means to be an American.

Everyone meditates on this a little differently: some spend the time remembering the sacrifices of fallen warriors; others ponder the country’s direction and what our future holds; and a few no doubt give praise to Big Macs, expensive leather handbags and all things free enterprise with a day of shopping. But for most, I suspect, it’s simply a chance to enjoy a day of rest in the company of family and friends. It’s a day of togetherness, a day of freedom, and in this regard South Whidbey shines.

Celebrate America in Freeland kicked things off Thursday, July 3, with an afternoon of family activities, great food and live music. The 20th annual event was concluded, as it is every year, with an awesome fireworks display over Holmes Harbor that earned countless “oohs” and “ahhs” from bystanders and a handsome image for Saturday’s front page to boot.

To the South Whidbey Assembly of God, the church that organizes Celebrate America, and all those who donated cash to pay the bills, thank you. It was a wonderful event, the result of a job well done.

The following day, on the Fourth of July, Maxwelton held its annual parade for the 99th time. Perhaps it’s the location, the sunshine — which always seems to be shining — or the energy of the crowd, but this is one of my favorite events of the year. Covering it is always a pleasure because everywhere you look people are smiling and having a good time. Families line both sides of Maxwelton Road from Swede Hill Road to Dave Mackie Park, kids dash here and there for candy, and the parade entries are fun, imaginative and open to all regardless of their message, exemplifying the very freedom that is the spirit of Independence Day.

This year was no exception; the parade was fantastic, the turnout impressive, and the foot races that followed a great time. I ran into friends, debated the merits about the latest plan for management of the Island County Fairgrounds, shared some laughs and went home with a warm heart.

Again, thank you to all those who put on this wonderful event. It reminded me of the liberty I so often take for granted, but more specifically of the value of family, friends and community. Here’s to another 238 years.


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