July 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays. The day’s festivities are what summer is all about: cookouts, fireworks, fun and games… and remembering the reasons why and the principles upon which this nation was founded.

Once again, I am privileged to work with both my Rotary Club and the City of Marathon in helping to organize the day’s festivities. Suffice it to say that Marathon really does Independence Day well. It literally is our community’s party of the year.

Let’s start with the perfect location: Sombrero Beach. What better place than the shore of our tropical sea to celebrate America! Of course, no Fourth of July would be complete without a parade. This year’s parade starts at Marathon High School at 10 am and heads for the beach featuring a number of floats and attractions. Music will be provided by the C.A.M.P. program kids, who will also participate in opening ceremonies at the beach. Our American Legion Post will march and present the colors. Opening ceremonies will commence at Sombrero Beach at approximately 11:30 am.

The City’s Parks & Recreation Department has organized all sorts of fun and games for kids of all ages. There will be plenty to eat and drink (burgers, dogs, watermelon, soda, water, beer, etc.) And with the beach right there, a cool refreshing dip in the Atlantic is but a few steps away!

Live music will echo throughout the beach beginning with the C.A.M.P. participants performing patriotic songs to start us off. Dan Sullivan will energize the stage, as will solo contributions from Marc Davis and yours truly as well. There will be at least one or two special surprises throughout the afternoon. John Bartus and Storm Watch (Glenn Faast, Marc Davis, and Christian Davis) will rock out all afternoon until the evening’s fireworks Sky Concert.

I always hear people talking about how awed they are after seeing our community’s fireworks display. Every year gets better and better, and people who see them for the first time are amazed at how a town our size is able to put on such a fabulous display.
The great news is that chief pyrotechnician Randy Mearns has another great show lined up this year. The July 4th Sky Concert will begin just after sunset, with fireworks timed to light up the sky in synchronization with a special patriotic musical program that will be heard across the beach (and simulcast on WAVK 97.7 FM). Whether you watch from on the beach, or from a boat anchored just offshore, you’re in for a heck of a show. The City of Marathon and the Marathon Fire Department step up to the plate year after year to make sure that our fireworks are second to none.

I’m sure that there are more than a few people from Rotary and the City who feel the same way. I can’t imagine a better way for a community to get together and celebrate our nation’s birthday. If you want to have one of the best July 4th experiences anywhere, then I’ll see you this Friday (July 4th!) on Sombrero Beach!

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