Since Duncan was born, we have had rather lackluster Independence Day celebrations. Until this summer he was napping, which impeded our ability to go anywhere interesting. Fireworks happen long after his bed time. We have stayed at home, pretending to celebrate with a cookout and some sparklers, but it wasn't the same. I enjoyed a childhood of military 4th's (and THEY can do it up) as well as a lot of great adult times with friends and family. We just hadn't come up with a good way to celebrate with Duncan.
This year, we decided to return to the Clermont Historic Site, where they were having an historical celebration. We toured the house, and a few costumed characters discussed their role in the Livingston family's history and the Revolutionary War. For the children, there were games (cherry pit spitting contest, three legged race, ugliest face), crafts, and a story hour. Other entertainment included a fife and drum band, musket firing demonstrations, a lecture about period undergarments (would I lie to you?), and free ice cream and watermelon sponsored by Stewart's. The Clermont offered a good view of the site where the fireworks were set to go off, but we didn't stay. Maybe next year.
It turned out to be a perfect way for us to spend Independence Day (which we explained to Duncan was America's birthday). He was entranced by the fife and drum band and sat watching them for nearly an hour. We watched the children's games; the finish of the three-legged race was quite controversial as one child alleged that another's father and pushed her over. The man who did the story hour turned out to be "Tom the Music Man" who does a program with the kids at Duncan's preschool once a month. We ate ice cream and every manner of fried and disgusting food. And then it was time to go home. We enjoyed a little history, good music, and some food that was bad for us and made it home in time for bedtime.
Happy Birthday America.