I have always loved local celebrations of the 4th of July. I love how each community has its own traditions that give Independence Day a local flavor.
When we lived in Texarkana as kids, we would often go to watch the fireworks at the lake. After we moved to Corpus Christi, our parents would load all eight of us into the station wagon and take us to the bayfront, where we would sit along the seawall, and watch the fireworks over Corpus Christi Bay.
When our kids were little, we would take a blanket and a picnic and drive across the bridge to Corpus Christi Beach and watch the fireworks over the bay. They used to fire them from a barge that was anchored in the bay.
Back in the 1990s, we were visiting Patrick's aunt and uncle in Dallas and got to see their neighborhood kids put on their own parade with bicycles, wagons, and pets all decked out in red, white, and blue. The parade culminated in a festival at the park. It was a real taste of Americana.
A few years ago, we went to Boston for the 4th. It was a dream come true. We spent the entire day in the park surrounded by people from all over the United States. And the fireworks were spectacular. Since then, we've gone down to the bayfront to see the local fireworks a couple of times. Now they shoot them off the deck of the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay.
This year, we drove downtown to check out our city's festivities. The City of Corpus Christi's celebration is now called the Mayor's Big Bang Festival. There was a 4th of July Parade along Shoreline
Boulevard, FREE Kids Zone, Art Walk, FREE park and ride services, a
Harbor Bridge light show and the grand finale… a fireworks display off the USS Lexington! The parade started at 6 pm and
fireworks at 9:30 pm.
We got downtown around 4:30 and everything was already packed and it was 97 degrees. We drove around for a while and checked out several locations. Then we decided to come home. It was just too hot and too crowded.
As we drove down Ocean Drive, we noticed that many of the homes were decorated with flags this year. In case you're not familiar with Corpus Christi, there are many fabulous and stately homes along the bayfront. If you visit, it's definitely a drive you should take.
One of the things that has become a tradition in Corpus Christi is the hanging of large American flags from cranes all over the industrial district. They started displaying them shortly after the September 11th attacks and it's grown every year. This year, they were not only in the industrial district, they were at several construction sites around town.
It is one of the things I like best about the 4th of July in Corpus Christi. Since we decided not to stay for the fireworks, we decided to take pictures of some of the flags. After that, we drove about six miles north to Odem and had dinner at The Railroad Seafood Station. We love their fried shrimp and avocado salad. Then we came home and watched our favorite July 4th movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy. James Cagney is brilliant as George M. Cohan. I've seen it about a million times and it never gets old.
I hope you had a great 4th of July with a celebration of this uniquely American holiday that had a little local flavor.