how i celebrate the fourth of july
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How I celebrated the fourth of july In Small Town, Minnesota

An inside view on how small communities come together to celebrate Independence Day.

How I celebrated the fourth of july In Small Town, Minnesota
Madison Waldron

As the Fourth of July approaches, I wanted to give a little insight on what it is like to celebrate it where I live. Life's a little whacky up here in the northland.

1. The preparations

Every restaurant, store, gas station, market, and so on takes special preparations for the 4th. This is because of the amounts of people that will come north to enjoy Minnesota's lakes or just the residents getting ready for the big celebration.

2. The fireworks

For almost a straight week, you can find fireworks in certain towns across the communities of the Iron Range. This, every year, is odd to me because people will light off large fireworks from their yards when technically it is illegal without a license. Even my family has been guilty of this.

3. The 3rd is almost more fun than the 4th

On the third of July, there is multiple parades among the Iron Range. But in my mind, the Gilbert, Minnesota parade is the best that night. Everyone gathers downtown this small town in the evening to drink and watch the parade. After the parade, everyone travels over to Eveleth (the next town over) that has a street dance going on (for those who don't know what this is, it consists of an entire street blocked off and on it has a live band playing and food vendors every turn you take). During the street dance, when the sun finally goes down, the city of Eveleth will light off fireworks on a hill at the end of main street.

As kids, we would always gather at the baseball fields right below this hill and watch the fireworks that went off right above us. So many people would gather on this one street that our cell phone networks usually don't work because they can't support the amount of people in one general area.

4. Oh, the early morning of the Fourth

Now, I don't remember a 4th of July where I wasn't up by 7 in the morning. It's tradition to wake up and head to Eveleth for the early morning parade. Those who make it are usually hung over from the street dance the night before. But this is something that still baffles me from year to year: people will continue drinking at the parade at 9 o'clock in the morning. It's a tradition, but I still don't understand it.

5. The clown band

This may seem a little odd to outsiders. But yes, a band of clowns ends each parade on the third and fourth of July. This is a band usually made up of Eveleth-Gilbert band alumni, but anyone is welcome to join. On the lake that I live on, every year on the morning of the fourth, if you leave a case of beer at the end of your dock, the clown band will come by on a pontoon and wake you up at 7:30. Another tradition of the clown band is at the end of the Eveleth parade, everyone follows them down the street having a good ole time.

6. The lake

After the parades, a majority like to go spend time out on a lake with family and friends, especially on a hot day. Everyone will gather to eat food, play games, and share stories. My family will usually get together with other families on the lake to have a huge pot luck, where everyone brings a different item.

Our peculiar celebrations have been ranked among certain websites and magazines as something to check out. To me, it is what I grew up with and I couldn't imagine celebrating it any other way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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