Straight Talk: Celebrating the Fourth of July|
Posted 6/29/2011 Updated 6/29/2011
Commentary by Col. Stacy L. Yike
66th Air Base Group commander
6/29/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Comment: Soon it will be the Fourth of July and I haven't seen any events on Hanscom being advertised. I'm new to the area. If I want to pay tribute to our independence, what is available to me?
Response: Welcome to the area, where independence was born! Needless to say, there are a variety of events taking place in our local communities. If you are staying in the area for the holiday, be sure to check out the local newspapers for details.
To highlight a few, nearby Burlington offers a parade and a Celebration on the Common with free activities for the kids, including pony rides, bouncy houses and an obstacle course, along with free popcorn, slush, cotton candy and cold water for everyone. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. in the town center.
Another great Independence Day celebration takes place in Lowell, featuring food, family fun and one of the largest fireworks display in the area. The event is at Sampas Pavilion on Vandenberg Esplanade. Entertainment begins at 5:30 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m.
The largest of all celebrations takes place in Boston, featuring a concert by the Boston Pops on the Charles River Esplanade beginning at 8:30 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10:30 p.m. If you want to get close to the Pops, plan to arrive much earlier in the day.
For more information on these and lots of other local Independence Day festivities, you can go to this website: www.visit-massachusetts.com/events_fourth.html.
Hanscom didn't forget to celebrate the holiday. With July 1 being a Family Day, many Hanscom families use the long weekend to get away from the base and visit family or go to the beach. Therefore, we focus all of our family fun and fireworks for this time of year on Summer Bash, which was held on June 24. Because of the low cloud cover, the fabulous fireworks were cancelled, but will be rescheduled to a date later this summer.
For those who choose to travel over the Fourth of July, please remember to be safe. Check your tire pressure, wear life preservers, don't drink and drive, wear sun block, remember the buddy system and get plenty of rest. We value each and every member of our Hanscom family. It is what you do every day that ensures our country will always celebrate Independence Day! I salute you for your efforts.