June 29 – July 5, 2012Vol. 14, No. 4

The Best of the Summer Holidays

by Esther J. Perne

Fourth of July at Belgrade Lakes

We sit on a blanket holding hands
Eager for the show to begin
Yet even before the fireworks start
We delight in the soft summer scene

Boat lights and fireflies twinkling at dusk
A sliver of a moon across the lake
The hills faintly pink from the setting sun
So sweet, I think my heart will break

The Fourth of July entrances us all
Romance, tradition, history and food
We're filled with wonder and blueberry pie
This day's been awe-fully good

Another American birthday party.

by Kay Overfield, Northbay Lane, Great Pond

The 4th of July, 2012: a special holiday . . . the height of summer . . . so much to do! There are parks and picnic sites to visit, parades and fireworks to watch, quiet traditions and crowded festivities, more awesome activities than are possible to attend, and everywhere wonderful outdoor recreation.

Want an impromptu outing? Water is the perfect setting. Pick out a park or a public boat landing and linger by a lake or river. Pack a picnic, swim, rent a boat or canoe.

Want to be alone? Remoteness reigns among the many preserved lands, the byways, the country roads and trails. Hike, walk, drive to a scenic overlook . . . and the silence.

Want a simple celebration? A cookout with family and friends is the fare of the day. Do it at home or discover a park or picnic area.

Want a formal festival? There are many family-oriented outings on the 4th of July calendars music, games, food, parades and fireworks are just a sample of the fun.

A re-enactor dressed as a colonial minuteman and carrying an American flag marches in an Independence Day parade.

For Belgrade, the 4th of July is the leading celebration of the year on the water, on land, and with a fireworks finale in the sky. Daylong sales, concessions, and children's activities throughout Belgrade Lakes Village start in the morning and continue into the afternoon and evening. Highlights are a book sale to benefit the new Belgrade Library, a bounce house, face painting and crafts for children, strawberry shortcake at Union Church and live music along Main Street.

At noon, the Annual Boat Parade takes place on the Belgrade Stream. Spectators are invited to view this unique display of decorated boats, canoes, kayaks and sometimes even an amphibious car from lawns along the waterway.

There'll be live music until dusk when a spectacular display of fireworks is held over Long Pond.

4th of July celebrations are scheduled in other towns, too, Augusta, Winslow, Winthrop, Farmington, and in the smaller villages.

The 4th of July is a picnic, a parade, a pause in a busy schedule, an opportunity to play. Enjoy this best of the summer holidays.