Goshen News, Goshen, IN

July 5, 2013

Wow! What a weekend


— On the heels of Independence Day, Goshen-area residents have plenty more opportunities to continue celebrating our nation’s unique place in human history as the first modern democracy. And part of that celebration is simply to have some fun and enjoy the liberties that have been won for us.

The fun will start tonight when the children of the 1950s and 1960s parade their muscle cars and other motorized pieces of history up and down Main Street during the annual cruise-in. The event is the main attraction for First Fridays and has evolved into a regional draw for car buffs.

Thousands of people will line Main Street tonight to see the colorful cars and feel the vibrations from 350 cubic inches of internal combustion passing by.

Teens cruising the main drag through town is now frowned upon by city officials and has been banned for years. But hey, on this one night each year it is fun to remember and re-enact.

Saturday will be a big day at the lake. Syracuse will hold a parade at 10 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. the Lake Wawasee Flotilla, a Fourth of July weekend tradition, will make its way around the big lake. The flotilla always creates a lot of laughs for lakers as they dress up in costumes and decorate their boats in many humorous ways to try and win one of the coveted trophies for their cottage’s mantle.

To top off the day at dusk, fireworks will burst over Wawasee where their fiery colors will be reflected across the lake’s surface.

These are all fun events we recommend to attend as ways to celebrate our nation’s birth. But, in our biased opinion, the Celebrate America show and fireworks at Black Squirrel Golf Course Sunday is the highlight of the weekend.

Tens of thousands of people will turn west Goshen into a parking lot and then crowd the course, middle school grounds and backyards around the course to take in the spectacular fireworks. But there is much more to the event that begins at 6:30 p.m. There will be gospel and patriotic songs sung, and most importantly, the nation’s veterans will be honored.

We think honoring our veterans on Independence Day weekend is the most important aspect to this family-friendly event. Americans, dating back to the Minutemen and the Continental Army, have always responded to the calls of our democracy in times of crisis. Those who survive get to carry the most honorable rank of “veteran” when they return home. Such men and women of valor have made all this fun and celebration possible. In return, we should pause and say once again, “thank you.”