Nearly twenty years ago when our children were still in elementary school and younger, our local community officially became a city. Since that time, the city has annually held a several day celebration commemorating this event. Even though the population of the area is quite large, the celebration started out and in many ways still has a very small town feel. On the last Saturday morning of June each year the day begins with a pancake breakfast, a 5K Race, and a parade. Afterwards there are food and craft and community booths, a car show, and music and carnival rides etc at the park.
My favorite part of the celebration begins earlier in the week, and was actually a suggestion that my own dear mother-in-law made to one of the members of the city council: Concerts in the Park. Everyone brings their lawn chairs and blankets and spreads out all over the huge park, and listens, eats, plays games, or even reads (one of my own family's favorite activities) with family and friends. This year three evenings of concerts have been scheduled in the park. Last night was the local Symphony Orchestra Concert, which we missed because of the busy schedule of the week. This is usually my favorite concert, but it just couldn't be helped. Tonight's presentation was a performance by the group Let's Hang On, a Frankie Valli Tribute group. They did very well, and I greatly enjoyed their renditions of the type of music that I grew up listening to: "Big Girls Don't Cry", "My Eyes Adored You", "Working My Way Back to You", "These Boots Were Made for Walki'n" etc. etc.
And of course, after it gets dark, we always enjoy one of the greatest fireworks shows in the entire country, perhaps the world. The only downer is that the kids are now scattered across the country, and it has been several years since they were all here together for this family tradition. I'm definitely missing my out of state kids tonight!!
But, there is another concert tomorrow night, and more fireworks afterwards. All for free. Very Family Friendly. Concerts in the Park. And Fireworks. Summer doesn't get much better than that!