Sunday, July 5, 2009

Down Home Fourth of July

I must admit I've been slightly jealous of my friend who lives in Willamina. Over in smalltownville they have these great holiday traditions. It's like a little slice of Americana. There's the mud drag races to raise money for the fireworks, then the town barbecue put on by a local restuarant, the annual parade, the bingo down on main street, the fireworks and the traditional family get-togethers after the town events. Everyone is involved, and everyone has a grand ol' time.

I almost made me want to move to Willamina. Instead, I decided to make the most of my own hometown. And I must say it was pretty all-American.

I ran some errands in the morning, then headed down to the farmer's market for a some veggies. Once there, I had to stop by the baked goods section and ended up with some snickerdoodle cookies and a loaf of zucchini bread. MMmmm.

Then I met a friend and a neighbor and we went to dinner at the Best Little Roadhouse, which was surprising unpacked at dinner time since everyone seems to be out of town this weekend. Or possibly everyone was stuck on Hwy 22. Either way, we got seated immediately and had a great dinner.

On the way to the fireworks show we stopped to pick some cherries from a friend's backyard tree. What's more American than a fresh cherry snack while watching fireworks, huh?

We decided to skip the Union Street Bridge and head to the top of the Chemeketa Parkade. We got a prime spot and set up our chairs. I had run into a neighbor watering flowers in the yard earlier in the day and so they showed up as well.

So there I was, enjoying freshly picked, delicious Bing cherries, watching fireworks with my neighbors on a beautiful summer night. My own little slice of Americana.

And suddenly I wasn't so jealous of smalltownville anymore. Salem is exactly what you make it.


Anonymous said...

You should have come down to the riverfront park and interacted with the rest of us down there. The more people that participate and the greater the crowd, the more likely other businesses and organizations will get involved and make it better each year.

Just like how you described everyone getting involved in Willamina

Mel said...

Salem really is a great town if you just take time to look!

Rebekah said...

I did interact a little with the riverfront crowd. And there were crowds of people on the streets and parked all over downtown as well. What I would have liked to see is a lot of downtown businesses open up for the evening. So many people were streaming by, I bet lots of them would have stayed, but many businesses were either closed for the evening or for the holiday all day.

Doug Gabbard said...

I've only lived in Salem for a couple of years, but watching the fireworks from the top of Chemeketa Parkade sounds like genius to me. How crowded was it up there?

Rebekah said...

Well, it was definitely full. We got there at 8:30 and there were still spots available but they were gone by nine. There was plenty of space to set out your chairs around the cars though.

Post a Comment