Day 4: Independence Day in the Quad Cities

Happy Independence Day, America!

We had a busy day in the Quad Cities.  A parade in East Moline, a movie in Davenport, a cookout in Moline and fireworks in Bettendorf. 

The parade lasted about an hour with a few slow times in the middle.  The kids gathered up lots of candy, necklaces and even some pop ices and bouncy balls.  We packed a lunch so we could eat while we waited for the parade to start.  Spending some time in preparation beforehand can make an outing so much more enjoyable.  We made up bags for each of the 9 kids we took to the parade, so when we arrived we could just hand them out and the kids could dig in to the food.  Then we used the lunch bags to collect their candy and they were already marked with their names, so we could tell them apart afterwards.

We had to wait until almost the end of the parade for the horses to come by.

Later this afternoon thirteen of us went to see "Brave" at Rave Motion Pictures in Davenport.  It was a fun movie and great for mothers and daughters.  It was also nice to do something cool since it's been so hot outdoors.

A cookout for supper refueled us so we could head back out for fireworks in Bettendorf.  We ended up with a great view of an impressive 30 minute show. 

The great thing about today was that what we did was done throughout the United States.  Going to the parade today reminded me of other parades I have attended as a child and as an adult.  Parades are free entertainment and each one is unique. 

With six in our immediate family we don't go to movies often unless they are at a cheap theater or the $1 summer movies, but it is fun to do something like this on a special occasion.  It doesn't have to be a movie.  It could be bowling, kite flying, or exploring a local festival.  If it's something that you really enjoy, but don't do often, it might become a family tradition for that particular holiday.

Fireworks and the Fourth of July seem almost inseparable.  Though I have not always been able to attend a professional fireworks show on the Fourth, it is something I enjoy and it seems an appropriate way to end the holiday.  It is also a great thing to experience, even if you are visiting another city or town.  As I watched the fireworks tonight I was reminded of other fireworks displays I have watched over the years.

I remembered my cousins shooting off bottle rockets as we waited for fireworks in Upper Michigan.  I remembered sitting in a parking lot watching fireworks in Myrtle Beach, SC.  I have vague recollections of laying in a field watching fireworks somewhere in New York.  I recalled our last minute decision to try to find a place to watch the fireworks in Houston barely a month after we arrived.  Whether you are in a small town or a large city, there is more than likely a fireworks show somewhere near you. 

For this triplearning experience you don't really have to go anywhere new, but it might mean you try a new experience right where you are and discover more about your town and the people in it. 


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