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Americana hard to beat!
July 6, 2009 - Jim Smith
There is something very cool about a small-town Fourth of July celebration.
Nearly every year, we go to the little town of Ostrander, Ohio, off U.S. 36 about halfway between Delaware and Marysville, to see the Fourth of July parade. Nearly every year, although not this year, it rains and is chilly, but the parade participants and spectators still turn out by the thousands to see family and friends, antique cars, kids on bikes, church groups on wagons, antique tractors, the high school alumni band and veteran groups move down city streets.
After the parade, many head to the town's elementary school, which once was the high school, to watch the Little League games, eat homemade pie, cake and ice cream and take part in various games.
The neatest part is everybody knows everybody, making it nearly impossible to move more than 10 feet before being stopped to discuss the past year.
The school walk-through, including enjoying the smell of the hundreds of barbecued chicken being cooked to serve inside the school cafeteria, is followed by the family picnic at my wife's nephew's home, which this year had his family, his wife's family and many of their church friends in attendance. As would be expected, the three groups all pretty much kept to themselves, while the kids mingled and played for hours.
The highlight of the evening, though, is the small-town fireworks, which for many years my brother-in-law fired off. This year we skipped the fireworks, taking my 94-year-old mother-in-law home to rest.
Yep, small-town flavor and true Americana patriotism is hard to beat.
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