We live in Liberty Canyon. On Patrick Henry Place. Near United Road, Defender Drive, Revere Way and Freetown Lane. So it’s only fitting to celebrate Independence Day with great ambition. And ambitious it was.
Independence Eve was spent adorning our turf and transportation with all things red, white and blue. And the Buckner kids helped us make a homespun parade banner.
We kicked-off Independence Day with the Second Annual Liberty Canyon Fourth of July Parade and it was a blast. We initiated the first parade last year, very impromptu style, because I was longing for the old-fashioned parades of my youth. Like the small town parade in Draper, Utah. The one I rode my bike in – red, white and blue handlebar streamers and all. The one I marched in as an eight-year-old with my drill team – pom-poms in-hand and Neil Diamond’s “We’re Comin’ to America” as our theme song. The nostalgic tug was so strong, we decided to start our own little parade.
So at about 6pm on July 3rd, we put up a poster on the corner to announce the parade. TJ and I prepped our kids, telling them it would probably just be our little family marching in the parade. Well, about 50 neighbors showed up for the parade last year, including horses and a chicken dressed like Uncle Sam!
It was so much fun, we knew it was a tradition that must march on. So this year we planned ahead, posted signs on the corner, passed out flyers and did some pre-event PR like this and this to help rally the resident patriots.
About 200 Liberty Canyoners arrived with great patriotic spirit and festive bikes, strollers, scooters, pets and wagons. The banner led the procession.
Jack rode his Razor Scream Machine (which is now a vintage Razor ride since it’s been discontinued).
Sophia and her friend rode the electric Jeep (again). Too bad the battery died half-way around the block.
And Olivia chose her “pink cah” which got lots of attention thanks to the bubble machine TJ attached to the hood.
The patriotic dogs almost outnumbered the humans.
One of the highlights was the comical trio representing Abe Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty and Captain America. God bless college kids.
Some neighbors cheered us on.
A few vintage cars and the LA County Search & Rescue Truck made it look very official.
It was incredible to see our community come together to celebrate our great nation and neighborhood. We met new neighbors and even heard stories from original owners, how they used to have parades like this back in the 1970s. Here’s a recap video from Agoura Hills Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal, community news site.
I think our Founding Fathers would be proud. Especially Patrick Henry, made famous by his American Revolution mobilization speech of 1775, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!”
We spent the rest of the day just hanging out with family, friends and neighbors. We were so thrilled Nana and Grandpa could join us this year.
The kids were in heaven. A water balloon toss in the street, a snow cone machine and a huge jump house/waterslide. What more could a kid ask for?
We ate grilled hot dogs and watermelon for lunch and TJ served up his killer margaritas which may or may not have inspired this.
The kids played and played and played. Seriously good times.
We were exhausted by 6pm, but we couldn’t miss fireworks on the Fourth. So we headed to the Thousand Oaks fireworks show with lemon cupcakes in tow, thanks to Nana.
It’s a Leatham/Vernon thing. My Mom always serves lemon cake on the Fourth of July. As a kid, we would sit on the front lawn and eat lemon cake while my brother and cousins got their pyro kicks lighting off hundreds of firecrackers in the street (which you’ll never find in California, but you can still buy on the street corners in Utah). Those spinning flowers were always my favorite.
We all oooh’d and aaah’d at the fireworks. Liv liked the purple and pink ones. And I must say, fireworks are even more magical with a two-year-old on your lap. It was the grand finale to a spectacular day of celebrating.
America, God shed His grace on thee.
Mama Nugget: Wonderful childhood memories can be anchored on traditions. Traditions kids can look forward to with great anticipation. As parents, we have the opportunity to continue the great traditions of our childhood (insert your own nostalgic lemon cake-like memories), discontinue the not-so-great ones and create new traditions unique to our families and modern lives.