America’s Birthday Party

I have to admit, Kingston does the 4th of July right.

Oak Ridge usually has a little longer show, perhaps spends a little more on the ammo, but the community band concert and the fireworks are the extent of it insofar as public activities go.

This year, Oak Ridge had nuthin’ for fireworks.

In Kingston, it was a whole-day gig:  there were food vendors, craft booths, a car show, a bandstand with local performers playing all day, kind of like a smaller version of Secret City Fest and Independence Day combined.  They partnered with a nearby radio station and broadcast music over loudspeakers throughout the park, especially during the fireworks, where the show was somewhat timed to the music.

It really does seem odd to me, given the history of Oak Ridge and the reason we exist at all, that we don’t make a really big deal out of Independence Day.  There should be a parade, food and craft vendors, live music all day long, and the fireworks ought to be displayed over the marina, because it’s both cooler and prettier.

I know we used to do that, and moved it because of the traffic snarls.  But get real — if we can bus people from the mall parking lot to the civic center for Secret City Fest, we could bus people to the marina.  Or, (heaven forbid!) maybe we could all just walk a few blocks; most of us could use the exercise.

Perhaps this year’s glitch exposed some folks to other small-town 4th of July festivities, and just maybe we’ll all bring back some ideas to share for making our own celebration a bit more festive.

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