The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m not sure there is any way to sufficiently explain how much I love the 4th of July. 

I suppose I could go on about how the 20+ members of my paternal extended family gathers every single year, without fail, at my grandparents home on Clear Lake for a celebration to beat all celebrations. 

I could show you photos of our annual sparklers dance-off to the tune of Moxy Fruvus’ “King of Spain”

I could explain to you that I’m not even quite sure what my hometown does for the holiday because I’ve never been there for it.  For all I know Oprah herself might make a yearly appearance in good old Urbandale for 4th of July festivities. 

And if she does?  Guess what, Oprah, you’re showin’ up to the wrong. party.  Because nobody does 4th of July like my family does 4th of July.

The proof is in the PAPER:

That’s right, you guys. My family’s 4th of July claim-to-fame in the delightful town of Clear Lake, IA is the founding of our family kazoo band.  We hold flags, we wear patriotic headgear and of course, play kazoos to the tune of many of your most beloved holiday favorites.  And we’ve done it for the past twelve years.  But you haven’t heard the most ridiculous best part yet. 

The best part of this annual display of patriotism?  We’re not even in the parade.  Ohhh that’s right. You betcha.  We arrive on Main Ave just in time to fill the empty street lined with thousands of people (Thousands? I’m honestly not sure about that statistic. But let me tell you, when you’re kazooing Yankee Doodle Dandy to a captive audience, those eyeballs staring at you start to multiply quickly.) and march up and down the concrete to the delight of our sixteen many fans.

But honestly?  We’ve learned that for some reason the citizens (and tourists) of Clear Lake, IA have found a special place in their hearts for “that crazy kazoo family”.  In fact, one year when we didn’t have our act together and failed to perform, a local woman wrote into the paper concerned over what had happened to the family band.

Last year my uncle pulled together an album to showcase our kazoo band history – and it sure is a doozie.  So I hijacked his photos and tossed them into a slideshow for your patriotic enjoyment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Yes, Ross was forced to join the band.

2. No, I didn’t warn him before I brought him to Clear Lake for the first time, shoved a kazoo in his mouth and said, GOOD LUCK OUT THERE!

3. Yes, he’ll tell you it’s embarrassing.

4. Yes, he’s lying. 

Because its awesome.

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8 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. Well… you know I read this last year when you posted it on facebook, but I failed to put together that you skipped your family’s most loved tradition for our wedding. So thank you for that!

  2. Okay…I’m going to yell your name SUPER loud when I see you go by…so you best give me a great big wave…..I hope the rain stays away!!!! :)

  3. This year’s pre-parade performance= THE. BEST. EVER. Mash-up to “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”. Need I say more?

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