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These beautiful moments are brought to you by New England communities, fireworks, and our founding fathers.

I do not travel anywhere for vacation during the July 4th Holiday.  Why should I, since I live in the best place to celebrate our nation’s birthday:  Massachusetts.  In the past few years, we’ve watched fireworks in the darkly historic Salem and the big show itself, Boston, which is pictured above.  We went the year Neil Diamond performed (woo-hoo!).  But, we’ve discovered that we can just stay in our backyard of Chelmsford.

This year, my Independence Day holiday began on July 3rd, by strolling around Chelmsford town center at the fair.  Local vendors set up booths with games, raffles, and great food, including chocolate covered bacon (though I could not muster up the stomach to try this).  The newly renovated arts center displayed local artist’s drawings, sculptures and paintings, where a few people I know took home some ribbons for anime type drawing and a painting.  To end the evening, I lounged with many other townies in the cool grass and listened to the community band play patriotic anthems.

Independence Day began with the 45th Annual Chelmsford July 4th Parade.  I awoke to heavy rain that morning, and was nervous the parade would be cancelled.  Yet the rain stopped pouring, yet a few clouds remained, providing relief for those of us that forgot our sunscreen.  Ahem.  I love a good parade, from home-grown Christmas and Mardi Gras, to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day, and especially this ID-4 spectacle.  Veterans, senate and congress hopefuls, and Boy Scout Troops march down the streets along with area high school and cultural bands.  This year, a few characters joined in on the fun:

Charlie Chaplin
Darth Vader

Yoda and Vader caused quite the gap in the parade, as people ran out in the street to get pictures taken with them.  One of the bands of Minute Men had to scatter around Vader at the last minute.  Other characters included Spider-Man, whom had too many excited kids around him for me to snap a picture.  I was upset when the pic I took of B.A. Baracus from the A-Team did not come out.  He was pretty awesome.

As I mentioned earlier, what makes a New England July 4th parade so awesome is the Minute Men.  At least three groups of these heroes walked down the street with muskets and drums, all the while the crowd hoping they would stop and fire their guns.

I shot a great video of these guys firing the muskets, but the video does not show up when I go to select it. Shrug.  Moving on.  Later in the parade, when the crowd spotted a squadron of Redcoats heading our way, we could not help but shout:

“The British are coming! The British are coming!”

I’m sure these men heard this yelled throughout their five kilometer trek.

An Independence Day jubilee would not be complete without fireworks.  This year, we did not commute to the Charles River for the gigantic Boston show.  The affluent people in our Heart (Hart?) Pond community blast some really impressive fireworks over the pond.  So for the past couple of years, my little family has spiked mosquito-repelling torches in the ground and lounged in lawn chairs to watch the Heart Pond boat parade, followed by fireworks at around 9:00.  I’m not talking about Roman Candles and sparklers here.  Thousands of dollars of screaming sky flowers are shot in our backyard.  In the distance, the town of Littleton’s display blooms over the treeline, and the distant thunder from each boom boom mixed with our own fireworks.  Also, Mother Nature lit up our sky with lightening last night, threatening to dump another round of rain.  But Heart Pond was spared from a down pour.  But, lightening and the possibility of violent storms caused an evacuation of the Boston Esplanade during the Pops performance, yet the firework spectacular went ahead as scheduled.

I greatly look forward to a few more Massachusetts July 4th celebrations before the Mister and I decide where to settle down.