Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Happy July 4th, er July 2nd, wait… August 2nd, or 30th?

 John Adams wrote, and I quote:
 “the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”
Okay America, what's going on here? This time last year it was 90F and sunny. Last year I sat in the sun and watched the local July 4th parade go by, and  cultivated a nice tan in my first few weeks adjusting to my new home country.

Today it's almost 90F, cloudy and muggy as hell (is hell muggy? I'd guess so).

But wait a minute, now you're telling me that July 4th isn't actually Independence Day? What mockery is this? John Adams reckons it should be celebrated on the 2nd (actual vote of independence) but those pesky Brits didn't even know about US independence for another six weeks!

Philadelphia, where it all happened, didn't celebrate until July 8th, and that was just with a parade and some gun fire, not a whole boat load of fireworks.

Incidentally, I also found out from Emma at Philly Love Notes that every July 4th in Philadelphia thousands of people head down to the waterfront at Penn's Landing and wait for fireworks. And wait. And wait some more. Because there are none. They're on the other side of the city.

The mental image of hoards of people bemoaning a lack of firecrackers cracks me up almost as much as when fireworks prematurely explode.

I tested this out on my US family and asked when the last time they saw July 4th fireworks on the waterfront.

Them: Hmm, several years ago at least.
Me: At least thirteen.
Them: No, not that long.
Me: No, I'm telling you, they haven't had fireworks there for at least thirteen years.
Them: Really? No. They happen there every year. Do you want to go this year?
Me: Uuuhh…

Philadelphia seems to have this collective false memory about the location of their fireworks. Is this the plot of M Night Shyamalan's next movie? As Emma later tweeted:  How do you convince 1000s of people not to show up to a fireworks show that doesn't exist?

If you're planning to head down to Penn's Landing tomorrow and take photos/video of disappointed patriots, please share the photos with me. I'd love to see them. As for me? I'll be at another parade this year. I promise to share some photos with you.

What are you doing for this most red, white and blue of holidays? 

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