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Celebrating the Fourth inSeward
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FIREWORKS, PARADES, AND PIE-EATING CONTESTS W hen I was growing up, I was really close to all my cousins on my mom’s side of the family. The seven of us were close in age, somewhere within five years of each other, and we all grew up fairly close to one another. My brother and I were from Omaha, Nebraska, and all of my cousins lived in either Seward or Lincoln. This made it pretty easy for us to celebrate holidays together,
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Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of that day, but I do remember feeling mortified standing on the big raised platform in front of all those people. I was a shy kid by nature, so everyone watching was a bit of a nightmare. I was so bad at it, too; when they told me I had to actually put my face into the pie, I froze up. I was totally naive and had no idea what was being asked of me, but it was an interesting experience, and I never signed up for another pie-eating contest after that. One of the better food
especially the Fourth of July. Each year for Independence Day, we would always go out to Seward, which claims to be “America’s Fourth of July City.” The city has a huge fireworks display in addition to a giant parade on the Fourth that winds through all the streets. My aunt was the jazzercise instructor in Seward, and she would get me, a couple of my cousins, and a few girls from her class to dress up in our jazzercise gear and participate in the parade. That was back in the ‘90s, so our outfits were pretty crazy.
experiences I had on the Fourth of July was all the Dairy Queen I got to enjoy. My aunt and uncle who lived in Seward owned the town Dairy Queen, which was a big deal at the time. It was the only fast-food restaurant in the whole town and everyone knew who my aunt and uncle were. They would always come to the parade to sell ice cream Dilly Bars and Dairy Queen ice cream treats — all good memories. Today, I feel a little sad because
"I was totally naive and hadno idea what was being asked ofme, but it was an interesting experience, and I never signed up for another pie-eatingcontest after that."
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my own kids don’t have something similar, but we still get together with family and friends for a meal and to watch the fireworks displays. They always have a lot of fun; at 6 or 7, holidays are always exciting, which also makes them
I remember one year, I decided to enter into the annual pie-eating contest in Seward. I was probably around 8 years old at the time and weighed just about nothing. The contest I entered was only for kids but ages ranged from 7–18. Being one of the youngest people to join, I really had no business competing, especially since I didn’t like pie all that much. I believe one of my older cousins had talked me into entering, and I had agreed without really knowing what the contest was really about.
special to celebrate again as a parent. This year, I look forward to enjoying the Fourth of July as much as I can with my kids, and I hope all of you have an enjoyable holiday, too!
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