Celebrating Independence Day with parades, barbecues, music, and fireworks has been an American tradition almost from the beginning. Congress first authorized pyrotechnics as part of 4th of July celebrations in 1777, and today, more than 14,000 fireworks displays go off across the nation every July 4th.
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays and this year, I’ll be in Mississippi attending Meridian’s July 4th Celebration at Bonita Lakes, which just happens to be one of the largest Independence Day events in the area. Bonita Lakes opens its gates at 3:30 on the 4th, and even though the arts, crafts and food vendors don’t start selling their wares until 4:00, I’ll get there early because it is a beautiful park situated around several lakes, with nature trails, a nice walking/jogging path, equestrian trails, fishing, a boating ramp, picnic areas with plenty of shaded tables and grills, and a couple of playgrounds for the kids.
If you’ll be in the area on Saturday, July 4th, why not start your day at the Meridian Farmers Market at Singing Brakeman Park on Front Street in downtown Meridian. Here you will find a wide variety of fresh produce, fruit, homemade goods, kid’s activities, etc. I plan to go and pick up some goodies for a nice 4th of July picnic later! They are open from 7:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M.
But back to the 4th of July Celebration at Bonita Lakes! After checking out the wide variety of vendors, hang around for a free concert, featuring Aa’Keela and the Beats and N’Tune featuring Kid Kabana. The music starts at 6:00 p.m. and finishes around 9:00 p.m. And then, it’s time for…FIREWORKS! (What can I say; I still get excited about pyrotechnics!)
Now, not everyone will be able to make it down to Meridian, Mississippi on Saturday, but wherever you spend the holiday this year, take a little time to reflect on just how fortunate we are to live in this great country…the land of the free and the home of the brave!
I want to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!