Celebrate America’s Birthday This Weekend on the National Mall
July Fourth is already here. What does that mean to area apartment renters (and the rest of you out there)? It means half of 2015 is already history.
To put it in perspective, to those of us who’ve been around the block a few times on this Road Called Life, think of the year 2000, the time of the great Y2K hullabaloo.
When the calendar turned to the 2000s, most of us who were of age were at parties or outdoor celebrations heralding the new millennium, the millennium that didn’t really start until 2001 they say, technically.
As the ball dropped ending the ’90s, I remember partying in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor listening to lightweight mayor Martin O’Malley serenade us in his weak-tea voice.
OK, Scott, what does this have to do with the Fourth of July? I’m gettin’ to it. Be still.
Now, subtract 15 years from that special occasion and you’re in 1985. That’s right, 1985. Remember back that far? Were you even alive then? It’s when David Lee Roth left Van Halen for the first time, Reagan started his second term in office, the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns put on a show people are still talking about today, fashion-forward boys wore parachute pants, and girls dressed like this.
Nineteen eighty-five feels like a century ago, while the year 2000 seems like only yesterday. But you know what? Those 15 years since 2000 and the 15 years preceding it are the same amount of time, pal! It’s 30 years no matter how you slice it. Time’s moving fast and having its way with us, and it’s about time we take it by the reins and slow it down before we wake up and it’s 2030. But we can’t, that’s the ephemeral, mystical quality of time and why it’s so important for us to try and make it last.
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OK, for the last time: What the heck are you trying to say here, Scott? And trying is the operative word, as in our collective patience.
Well, this stroll down Time Relevance Lane is meant for us to see how important it is to smell the roses and watch the fireworks once in a while, to hoist a beer or some bubbly, eat something bad for us like a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, an entire pizza or a hot dog or two, or three, or eight, to squeeze our honey good and tight, or maybe meet a new one, and if that’s not possible, put our arms around a friend, family member or pet. (You should be hugging your pet every day anyway.)
July Fourth marks America’s 239th birthday, and as Washington, D.C., is our capitol, you may’ve heard we have quite the celebration on the National Mall for the occasion. This holiday is the perfect time and place for you to do some reveling, hugging and laughing; it’s a small window of opportunity to try and slow down time a bit and enjoy your Walk Through Life.
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And if you dig crowds, noises, screams, festive people and bright, colorful explosions, the Mall is where you’ll want to do your memory-making. The fireworks start at 9:09 p.m. And you don’t have to be a genius to know that if you want a good spot on the lawn, you should come early.
I’ve done fireworks-on-the-Mall a few times, and while not one for crowds, I’m glad I experienced it. It’s a one-of-a-kind spectacle found only in the District.
For those into something a little more dapper, or maybe eclectically entertaining, be sure to check out “A Capitol Fourth” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol beforehand. Broadcast live from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on PBS for the 35th year, the show will serenade you with acts as diverse as Barry Manilow, Alabama and Nicole Scherzinger.
For the agoraphobic among my readers, you might want to skip all the crowded hoopla and just hug your significant other (with camera in hand), a friend or your pit bull in the privacy of your own home this Saturday. Between hugs, you can catch “A Capitol Fourth” and see if Barry Manilow whips out “Copacabana (At the Copa)” or Alabama blares “Mountain Music.”
Either way, be safe, have a happy Fourth of July, and make some memories you’ll remember in 15 years – and beyond.
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