In the south, we do a lot of things differently. We’re more hospitable, we have an ungodly amount of sugar in our tea, we can find a way to deep fry any food, but maybe one of the most dramatically different things we do is Independence Day. Here, we go all out, and while the day is a party everywhere in the USA, I think south of the Mason Dixon is the biggest party of all. It’s like comparing a sweet sixteen (thats the rest of America) to a fraternity rager (here, of course). See, the women and girls down here are all about pizazz in the kitchen, and the men are all about innovative ways to amaze with the fireworks. They just love fireworks. Not carefully choreographed, professional grade fireworks, but lit from a bucket, on the street, thrown dangerously close to going off fireworks. I really hate to use the word redneck but…that might be the only word to help you get the picture. Roman candle wars ensue, trees are accidentally hit, and it’s just not the fourth unless someone goes home with a burn! A close friend of mine has a grandpa who LIVES for fireworks. They go on an annual haul each year, and he walks around the warehouse and giggles. We all go to their house every Fourth and while the boys are lighting the fireworks and running for dear life while the girls sit in the truck bed a few feet away giggling and the parents and children watch from the porch and pool patio atop a hill, the grandpa sits nearby and revels in the sparkles, giving instructions on how to properly do fireworks and giggling every time they burst in the air.
Now, I can’t really use this year as an example, because it was a rainy, stormy mess, but normally there is grilling out and swimming and eating a whole spread of way too much food( I said the women go big in the kitchen. I literally went to the grocery store for my mom three times within the last two days. Baked beans and Charleston dip and ice cream toppings, oh my!) basically milling around until it gets dark enough for the main show of patriotism- the fireworks- enjoyed with some homemade ice cream of course!
In the south, fireworks are a competition. You have to have a bigger display than your neighbor. You have to show your love for good ol’ Merica! It gets intense. Mistakes are made and before you know it there’s a shower of sparks coming your way from a knocked over firework. That my friend is fear! Fireworks also go looooong into the night. No one wants to be the first to stop. It is the one night of the year you are lulled to sleep by consistent booms reminding you of your freedom. I honestly believe there is not a quiet neighborhood in Dixie on the Fourth of July. Even as I type this at nearly midnight I am watching fireworks that just started up outside my window. Even though it’s obnoxious, it’s truly a beautiful show of love for this country.
Now lets talk about apparel. Here, the dress code is “whatever” , but it better have red, white, or blue in it. I tend to vary from sundress to jeans and tank. But I always wear my bright red cowboy boots that were handed down to me from my late fabulous great aunt! Some go all out (I’m talking Old Glory in the most unexpected ways, that might actually be treasonous), some keep it simple. I plan my outfit for months in advance!
Lasts year’s outfits from a local boutique. With my sister. This year’s outfit. The tank came from Future First Lady on Twitter!
In the south we are passionate about whatever we do. Everything is done big, or not done at all. Independence Day is no exception to this solid rule. Truly, though I admit I have not spent the Fourth anywhere outside of the South, I must believe that nowhere else can compare to the party and celebration that is the Fourth of July here! God bless America y’all!