Go Deeper

These Colors Don’t Run

Posted July 2nd, 2010

We hold these truths to be self-evident that not all Fourth of July celebrations are created equal. What, you thought that the only way to pay tribute to our great nation was by eating potato salad and shooting bullets into the air? You’re no patriot! Check out some of the zany ways that your fellow citizens from the amber waves of grain to the purple mountains majesty commemorate Independence Day ever since the Declaration of Independence was read here in Philadelphia in 1776 on the very first 4th of July (OK it was actually the 8th).

Click more to find out why the USA is A-OK.

“Red, White, and Dead” Zombie Walk—Seattle, Washington
Seattle is attempting to break the world record for the most people dressed up as zombies on 4th of July. There’s zombie make-up, a Thriller dance workshop, costume contests, and a screening of Dawn of the Dead. Those crazy liberals in the Pacific NW will do anything to get attention!

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest—Coney Island, New York
Nothing is more American than competitive eating, and for the last 95 years the world’s best bottomless pits have convened in Coney Island to scarf as many hot dogs as they can. Last year’s winner ate a record-breaking 68 hot dogs—and buns—in 10 minutes. (Imagine the exit wounds.) Defending our freedom (to eat 68 hot dogs) has been never been more important—Japanese eater Takeru Kobayashi has come in first or second for the last nine years. You can cheer on the yanks from home on ESPN.

CLAMerica Celebration—Cedar Key, Florida

You’ve got your clams, and you’ve got your country—what more could you ask for?

Guam Liberation Carnival 4th of July Fireworks Display—Hagatna, Guam
Every July, Guam celebrates its liberation from Japan and the birth of the United States.

Boom Box Parade—Willimantic, Connecticut
As the legend goes, in 1986 the town of Willimantic couldn’t secure a marching band for their parade . . . so local radio station WILI 14AM broadcasted the greatest marching band hits, residents lined the streets with their radios turned up as loud as they went, and the tradition lives on today.

Discovery Diving Underwater Bike Race—Beaufort, North Carolina
America is all about choices. Why should you have to choose between scuba diving and bike riding?

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE: Hanging of the Grand Marshall—Patagonia, Arizona
Yes, the citizens of Patagonia really do a mock-hanging of the Grand Marshal of their 4th of July parade every year. Last year they strung up the owner of the bookstore.
“I don’t really know why we do it,” the volunteer at the visitor’s center says.
These colors don’t run.

If you’re not into Independence Day, just remember that July 4th is also National Tom Sawyer Fence Painting Day!

–Ellen Freeman

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.