Happy Birthday, America!
Happy July 4th Weekend! Currently it’s July 3rd, but from the sound of fireworks in the distance the past couple of nights I can tell people are already celebrating.
Today also marks the return of the Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Rec department’s annual Firecracker Fest at Mill Creek Park. They’ll have events such as the Greased Pole Climb and a Frog Jumping Contest. You can click that link to read all the rules for the Frog Jumping Contest and see past winners. I’ll just leave a few of the rules here-
- Two age divisions and 3 categories of frogs – Tree, Toad, and Bullfrog
- No touching the frog after time has started
- In order to be awarded the Largest, Smallest, and Most Unique Frog awards, the frog must have been entered into the competition
I love small town stuff like this. Living in Atlanta for 36 years I don’t ever remember hearing about any community activities other than fireworks for the 4th. Of course, the big thing in Atlanta for July 4th is the Peachtree Road Race. It’s been going on for over 5 decades. And I can tell you from flying over it so many times it sure looks like half of Atlanta is out there running, walking, or watching. As much as I hated to work on a holiday, it was fun videoing the race. The big fireworks display in Atlanta used to be at Lenox Square Mall, but these days the fireworks display at Centennial Park is the big one. Well, except this year it is canceled. But there are still plenty of fireworks shows around the Atlanta area.
When I was growing up the Firecracker Fest (if it was called that then, idk) was a must-attend event for the entire family. Honestly, I don’t know what the adults did but we kids would participate in all the activities and swim in the pool. Mill Creek Park didn’t exist back then; the event was held at the old Fair Road Park in Statesboro. Pretty sure there was a greased pig chase, but my memory might be hazy on all the events back then. I do know my youngest niece told me recently that as a younger kid she won a greased pig contest, though not sure where it was.
The big event, of course, was the fireworks at night. I think every family in Statesboro and the surrounding areas would gather in an old field on Fair Road, which is now athletic fields, The Charles H. Herty Pines Nature Preserve, and where the famous “Beautiful Eagle Creek” flows. I have vivid memories of piling into the car after a long day at the park and headed to the field for the fireworks. As I mentioned, everyone was there. You had to get there early and stake out your spot. And we always did and always had such a good time. It’s the reason I love fireworks to this day.
Even though I love fireworks, I won’t be going to the Firecracker Fest this year. Mainly because as I have gotten older my enjoyment of being in large crowds has greatly diminished. I used to not mind it and went to plenty of concerts, festivals, and events as a younger guy. Now I’ll leave all that to be enjoyed by today’s younger crowd.
And a reminder, if you’ve got pets you know this time of year can be rough for them with fireworks going off in almost every neighborhood, so keep them inside or somewhere they can’t run away. And give them extra cuddles and treats.
And whatever you do this Independence Day weekend, have a great time and stay safe.
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