by Melissa Brunner
For journalists, I suppose it's somewhat fitting to work on Independence Day. What better way to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in our country than to practice the freedom of speech that allows the free press to operate?
Of course, it's fun to see all the holiday traditions observed by different neighborhoods and families. The neighborhood bands which take to the street once a year for a parade; the children's bicycles decked out in red, white and blue; and the fast-paced (?) action of turtle races are just some of the activities we see Topeka neighborhoods enjoy every July 4th. Don't forget the big Spirit of Kansas events at Lake Shawnee, either!
When I was a kid, the 4th of July was spent with three other families. One family had a pool, so we'd spend the afternoon swimming, barbecue for dinner then sit in lawnchairs and watch fireworks, our own and the displays lighting up the skies from the surrounding towns. In more recent years, when I've been able to enjoy the evening off, my brother-in-law's family will barbecue and we watch the nephews (with the uncles' help, of course!) light off their great finds from the fireworks stands. (Don't worry - I'll probably still sneak over there for dinner between newscasts. I have to eat!!)
What are your favorite Independence Day traditions?