It’s Independence Day here in the States, the second of the three summer holidays. I know lots of people take advantage of the time off for vacations, but I prefer not to travel over this long weekend. There’s too much going on around my hometown and the surrounding areas, and I’d hate to miss any of it.
We’ve got parades and street fairs all over the place. In one of the suburbs not far from me, the annual Ribfest beckons — wet wipes, heartburn and all. In the next town over, there’s a hot air balloon festival. Just about every community has something on the schedule.
The best one, in my opinion? It’s a neighboring town’s day-long celebration starting with a 4th of July parade followed by a carnival, picnic and its Annual Cardboard Regatta.
That’s right. People stake out their viewing spots around a small lake to witness the race. Of boats. Made from cardboard.
It’s awesome. Racers engineer their boats for both speed and style. Last year, one crew fashioned a huge Lego brick boat. Another group created a Viking-like ship. Any design goes, really, as long as the vessels are made from cardboard, stay within the specs, and are manned by rowers rather than sails or motors.
The crews race around a large course, marked off by buoys. The lake is pretty shallow, but rescue boats float outside the perimeter in case a boat sinks or tips over.
After the regatta’s winner is crowned, there’s a family carnival at the park (with more food for a picnic dinner, naturally), and at the end of the day there’s the town fireworks’ show. From morning’s sunscreen to evening’s bug spray, it’s a full day of small town fun.
But first things first.
If you live in the U.S., I hope you and your family have a happy and safe 4th. And no matter where you are, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!