Titan Tattler: Happy Independence Day

Published 12:07 am Thursday, June 29, 2023

By Claire Reinthaler
For the Clemmons Courier

One of the hallmarks of summer for me has always been the Fourth of July, not necessarily the holiday itself but the festivities that surround it.

From an early age, I remember doing all sorts of things to celebrate Independence Day, from sitting in fold-out chairs on the sidewalk watching my town’s annual parade to sitting out in a field on picnic blankets to watch the fireworks.

My family has always varied our celebrations, sometimes using our family gatherings for the Fourth of July as an opportunity to also celebrate my nana’s birthday, which just happens to be the day before. Other times, we just enjoy the nice weather and celebrate on our own.

However, one thing is almost always true for my family’s Fourth of July celebrations: we’re always up for a cookout.

Exact dishes and people involved vary, but whenever we cookout, we always have the classics — burgers and hot dogs with a number of summer sides from corn on the cob to mac and cheese to watermelon (my personal favorite; it’s really not a summer cookout without watermelon). This year, our family is inviting some of our neighbors and some other friends over to join in the festivities.

Sometimes, if the weather allows for it, we also do some sort of water-related activity on the Fourth, like river tubing, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you like baking in the sun for four-plus hours or going to the beach, which we did once or twice when I was little.

The problem for me with beaches, though, which I usually love, is that they’re just highly unpleasant on the Fourth simply because of the sheer number of people in the vicinity. Even pools are almost always too crowded for me on the Fourth of July.

Still, I feel that the Fourth is more of a start of summer celebration than anything else. Sure, it’s technically a few weeks into our summer breaks here already, but I grew up with summer breaks that started in late June and ended in mid-September, and old traditions are hard to break.

The secret to a good Fourth of July for me is simple: enjoying time off with good food, some fireworks and my friends and family. This year, even though I’m working (although I can’t imagine how many people are getting fast food for dinner on the Fourth), I’m looking forward to doing just that.

Claire Reinthaler is this year’s Titan Tattler.