By Marci Seither, Contributing Writer
The 4th of July often brings to mind firecrackers, homemade ice cream, parades, and family. People proudly display the American Flag and, with hands placed over grateful hearts, sing about “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
For several years, we lived near Dutch Flat, a small mountain town nestled in the California Sierra Mountains. Attending the 4th of July parade was like taking a step back into time when neighbors really did stop in to sit a spell and kids played outside until dinnertime.
The parade consisted of family floats, kids on scooters, vintage cars, horseback riders, and was always lead by veterans carrying the American and POW flags and is lead by a bagpipe player. The route was a big loop through the main part of town and was made TWICE.
It is said that the reason for the double loop was because the route was so short people wanted to get more bang for their buck, others cite that because Dutch Flat was settled before California was admitted into the Union as a free state, they used to go around the loop with the Union flag the first time and then a second time with the Confederate Flag. One thing for certain, it has been done that way for as long as anyone can remember and there are no plans to change it anytime soon.
The best part of the parade is that on the second loop around, the whole town gets involved in one of the biggest and wettest water fights of the year. Youngsters armed with water balloons take on float-manned hoses and water cannons. With the exception of the respect shown to the vintage cars and town’s elderly, it is hard to escape without being part of the splash zone.
After the last person makes it all the way around, everyone disperses from the lined street to buy strawberry shortcakes, take a chance at the dunk tank, or toss dimes into glass dishes and cups. It is a time to stop and realize what a great country we live in, even with it’s flaws and imperfections, there isn’t a place where I would rather live.
The stars and stripes are more than just color and pattern on a rectangular piece of fabric, they are the symbol of our country and all that it stands for. Wear the red, white, and blue proudly and help your kiddos create their own little artistic rendition of “Old Glory”.
And if you happen to be in Dutch Flat area . . . don’t forget your water balloons.
4th of July t-Shirt Tutorial
What you will need to make your own t-shirt:
- White t-shirt
- Red and blue fabric paint
- Sponges that can be cut into star shape and used to make stripes
1. Cut sponge into a star shape.
2. Decide where you are going to want the pattern.
3. Insert a cardboard or paper bag in t-shirt to keep paint from seeping through to the other side
4. Pour paint onto a plate or some surface that is waterproof.
5. Dip sponge into paint.
6. Press onto t-shirt. .Repeat until you have the perfect 4th of July t-shirt.
7. Iron to make sure the colors stay colorfast or follow product recommendations.
Wear with pride!
SIDE NOTE: This is a super fun idea to make ANY time of the year. My neice decided she didn’t want stars and stripes so she made a shirt with butterflys! Use your Imagination and have fun!