|(Still one of my favorite first shots with my Nikon.)|
The parade ended at the "meadow", which was the grass space in front of the beach and the lake. The celebrations were kicked off in earnest by a heartfelt singing of the national anthem and one BIG firecracker from the island. There were booths set up for food, soda, and beer. Games included egg carry, water balloon toss, and capture the watermelon. The watermelon game was something you almost have to see to believe. They grease it up, throw it in the lake and then teams attempt to get it to their dock first. The winning team then wrestles it out of the water, busts it open and shares with everyone. There were team sports - softball, volleyball, and tennis matches. There was a talent show, which brought many a tear of laughter to your eyes! There was much swimming and catching up with friends from school, neighbors who had to move out of the area and had come back just for this day, and then in the later afternoon - nap time for the kids.
|(photo credit: Betsy F. Mast)|
When the finale was completed and all the memories had been made, we packed up and walked back home. This is where the flashlights were important. We didn't have street lights or sidewalks in our neighborhood and we had many, many full grown trees. We hoofed in home almost as part of an evening parade, saying goodbye to each other as we reached each respective house. We lived there long enough that I could have walked home in the complete dark and found my way, but having a little light is always nice.
This neighborhood still has a version of these celebrations each year and now some of the children I grew up with are the parents who own the homes. The lake photo is from one of those folks, a high school friend of mine raising her family a couple streets over from where I lived and where her husband grew up. Cheers!
(An earlier story about the Lake, if you're interested.)