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July 4th Traditions

As I sat around daydreaming about the upcoming long weekend, I decided to poll the team here at Daily Grommet to find out about their traditions, favorite 4th of July eats, and memories from past years. Enjoy their replies and feel free to share your own Independence Day traditions in a comment below.

Do you travel? Stay local? Are fireworks a must in your book? It seems that here at Daily Grommet HQ, there are a mix of long standing traditions and new ones being made.

Jules' family heads to Casco, Maine, on Pleasant Lake. Her favorite spot is sitting on the dock getting destroyed by mosquitoes while watching the local fireworks randomly going off around the lake (thinking someone should remind her to take a ThermaCell!).

You'll find Julia watching fireworks with family on the beach (which sounds great to me!), while Danielle heads to Swanton, Vermont, with her entire family to their camp on Lake Champlain. All 17 of them make the four-hour haul up  north to stay in a  quaint, three-bedroom lake house with no tv or internet for several days packed with stuff to do and lots of good food.

Ann shares: "Every July 4th, my dad would drag me and my three brothers to the dock or the beach to take a picture. We'd hold up a sign with the year written on it. In a few of those photos I look like a surly teen who's mortified at having to take such a hokey picture in public. Now I'm putting my own kids through the same ritual -- but they're still too young to be embarrassed by it!"

Joanne's crew keeps busy by waterskiing (courtesy of Grampy’s 35-year-old vintage orange “Chrysler Funster”) and tournaments of horseshoes, badminton, and whiffle ball.

For others, like Jesse, traditions are just forming. His young family enjoys a combination of activities like a BBQ, bouncy houses, and pony rides.

Do you stick with old favorites or try new regional recipes? Seems the folks here at Daily Grommet are not going to go hungry this weekend:

Hang out with Jen and Katherine for your typical BBQ fare like hot dogs and potato salad -- or visit Leonard out in LA while he's grilling up steaks for the 4th. Sara, serves up salmon and peas with mashed potatoes which sound delish.

Des spends the fourth in his Maine cabin cooking up a storm from his favorite cookbook, Maine Ingredients (Kennebunk Kabobs or Strawberry and Lettuce Salad anyone?).

But if I had to pick someone to eat with on the 4th, it's a close call between Jeanne (she brings the cupcakes) and Kate (who whips up a festive strawberry and blueberry tart).

Ah the memories: Fireworks, parades, family and friends.

Hearing about everyone's July 4th memories was perhaps the most fun for me. I love that Donna's husband won a lawn mower throwing contest two years ago and that Wendy met her husband at a 4th of July parade in Vermont.

I enjoyed hearing June talk about watching fireworks and catching fireflies with her nieces and nephews; and Jamie's story about how he met his girlfriend four years ago on a 4th of July sail around Boston Harbor. Jamie also told me that his Mother's birthday is on the 4th -- so a big  "Happy Birthday" to her!

 As for me (Tori), I also  have a young family whose traditions seem to be forming a bit more every year. I am not exactly sure where we'll be or what we'll be doing ... but  I do know there will be bright fireworks (oh and definitely homemade strawberry ice cream!).

So now that the long weekend is kicking off, we'd love to know ... What are YOUR 4th of July traditions, favorite eats and fond memories? Feel free to share them with us!

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