Happy Independence Day from the Inn at the Agora!

Published on 4 July 2023 at 16:48

Stars and stripes fly high this week all over the country. In Lewiston, we have the Liberty Fest along the Androscoggin River. The twin cities will have vendors set up on the Auburn and the Lewiston sides of the river. There will be food, music, and fun for the whole family! The inn is not far from where the fireworks will be set off. It’s an ideal spot since it’s close to the festival but far enough from the crowd. I recommend exploring the festival along the river for an up-close and interactive experience and then returning to the inn. 

Of course, fireworks don’t agree with rain, so there’s always the possibility of postponed activities. This year, rain has been a daily occurrence for at least a month. We are all hoping that the twin cities will be able to kick off the festival and set off fireworks, but it’s looking pretty iffy. If it’s raining outside, here are a few ideas for celebrating Independence Day indoors:

  1. Red, White, and Blue Recipes
     – There are countless recipes for July 4th desserts. Follow this link to one of our favorite collections: Easy 4th of July Desserts: 50 Recipes for Dazzling Desserts (tasteofhome.com)
  2. 1776-Themed Party – Party like it’s 1776! Put together a patriotic playlist, cut sliced watermelon with star-shaped cookie cutters, and challenge yourself to some Revolutionary War trivia. There are many variations on party activities, so celebrate your way!
  3. July 4th Arts & Crafts – From activities for small children to advanced crafters, Independence Day always offers the opportunity to express patriotism through arts. The Reader’s Digest has one of our favorite lists of easy craft ideas: 30 Patriotic 4th of July Crafts | Cute & Easy DIY Fourth of July Crafts (rd.com)

Many of us have memories of Fourth of July celebrations or going to see fireworks as a kid, and seeing the excitement and awe on little faces watching the fireworks brings back the magic of those memories.  When I was a child, I used to focus only on enjoying my time and seeing the fireworks. I used to want to sample food from all the different vendors. I'd walk around for hours, buy novelty items, meet friends to hang out with until the fireworks start and stay until after the grand finale. I went from that to looking for an easy escape route, a place close enough to see fireworks but away from the crowd, and fair food came to disagree with me, so I had to learn to skip the fried dough, cotton candy, and corndogs. Nowadays, I sit on my step with a glass of boxed wine and hope a neighbor sets off some fireworks. The grand finale is like a celebration that I finally get to go to bed. I think the natural progression from here will be to watch the Boston Pops in bed with some sleepytime tea, wearing a nightgown that has a 4th of July gnome on it.

The holiday marks such a moment in our history, that its significance cannot be overstated. It reminds us about sacrifice, perseverance, hope, pride, and freedom. As we get older, we come to see those terms in a different light than as kids. We can wrap our minds around the fact that were it not for the strength of resolve that resulted in our independence, our freedoms in this country would look different today. Growing up, I understood why we observe Independence Day, but I didn’t understand until studying the civil rights movement, the character required for the monumental task of leading people to - and through - a revolution. We can all be proud that people back then were not just looking out for themselves, but looking out for us, and our children as well. In this manner, perhaps the holiday takes on additional gravity of meaning as we get older. For me, it has become a more reverent experience.

Whether young or old, Independence Day is a tie that binds us. Wherever you are in the country, this is an occasion for all of us. From villages to big cities, we share in this moment each year. The air fills with the smells of backyard barbeques all over the nation, and the fireworks imprint our shared and celebrated history on the night sky. It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routines and to-do lists, and sometimes quite difficult to pause and just
be. This Independence Day, let yourself be in the moment and celebrate it. That’s what it was all for to begin with, so we can enjoy our liberties. No matter how you observe the holiday, have fun and let the magic return to you. 


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