Oh, there was so much more going on two years ago. (Read the 2018 post, Happy Third Of July, to get an idea of a more typical year.) This year, a bit different. When pandemics happen a few things get postponed, but not everything.
Official parades and firework displays were cancelled for this holiday. Let’s hope we get them back next year.
A major part of Whidbey Island’s culture are neighborhood, community, and friendly events that won’t show up in some media outlet.
The local parade is cancelled? Reports are coming on from neighborhoods that put together parades by gathering the local kids and their trikes and wagons. Big and flashy? No. Heart-felt? Definitely.
Art shows aren’t happening? Some will. Some won’t. But artists might just happen to post a few sandwich board signs, maybe put up some directional arrows, and open a temporary gallery in their garage.
Fireworks? The Fourth (and the Third and the Fifth and far more than that) are known for unofficial (including some illegal) booms and pretty lights in the skies, regardless of the official schedules. Thanks to the local waters, some neighborhoods even have safe sites for local, yet professional paid displays. Natural Rural Distancing with each house separated from the next by more than enough.
And then, it is summer. The island’s population increases as the second (and third and fourth) homes fill. Long term tourists settle into vacation rentals. Short term tourists might drop by for a three hour (or a three day) tour. Don’t be surprised to hear live music from a band trapped at home, or someone who has cranked the volume as they try to relax and enjoy after months of winter.
There are no guarantees about 2021. Maybe we’ll revert to interrupted traditions. If this pandemic continues old traditions may get replaced with new traditions. That cute, impromptu neighborhood parade could be the start of the next don’t-miss event. Every old, established tradition started with no guarantee it would happen more than once.
Rather than concentrate on what didn’t happen, look around and see what is happening, or maybe what should be happening. How about a dance with everyone in haz-mat suits? A mask parade instead of a masquerade? Or following the lead of dogs and kids who somehow always find something to keep themselves entertained. Nice weather, the island’s natural beauty, and a reason to try something new. July 4th, 2020 may just be the summer to remember for some very good reasons. (But enjoy responsibly, just like it says in the beer ads.)