The Fourth of July weekend was a fun one. I'm not a super-patriotic person, but I'd say I'm moreso than your average joe. I don't ride around with "support our troops" stickers on my car, though I do. I don't fly a flag at my apartment (would be tough, anyway), but I certainly love seeing when people do and I love our flag. As an American, though, I'd say I'm fairly informed as to what is going on the world, knowledgeable about our history and the events that have shaped this nation into the country it is today. I can tell you where Missouri is on a map and point it out for you (go ahead and laugh - it puts me in a small percentage of my countrymen). Yes, I'd say I'm relatively patriotic, but not overboard.
I think you're required to be overboard to live in Texas.
There were roughly 12 firework shows this past weekend to celebrate our nation's Independence Day. Think about that for a moment - imagine the money that was spent on the combined arsenal for these shows...it's a little scary, but impressive at the same time.
LampLover and I settled on seeing a show close to home - the fact that it turns out Kaboomtown is one of the largest and best shows in the nation is all just icing on the cake. I called up BurnoutZen to join us, and we readied ourselves for fun. The town of Addison always does a great job on their events, but Kaboomtown is one of my favorites. They let you bring your own blankets, chairs, coolers, food and even beer to the event, and the admission is free. That's a rare thing in these days.
The show was on July 3rd, so we had a day to sleep in and recover after a fun night of celebrating, and we prepared to take advantage of it! LL and I loaded up the cooler with lots of goodies (chicken from Popeye's, Shiner and plenty of water) and prepared to brave the heat. We arrived at the park around 5pm, and the temperature was hovering right near the century mark. With the heat index factored in, I think we were somewhere near 105 degrees. A cool breeze teased us from time to time, but for the first couple hours, there was little to keep the heat at bay. We were very happy we had lots of water, in the end, since we would have been quite dehydrated if we hadn't brought it along.
In addition to the sun, relaxing comfy chairs and delicious Shiner & chicken, there was great music to be enjoyed too. The first act, an army band from Oklahoma, played mostly marches and hymns, but they were enjoyable as I don't hear them often. The second two acts were more in tune with my tastes - Five Times August, a local acoustical one-man band that is starting to get play in larger media (MTV's Laguna Beach to be specific - I had only heard about the show, just reading about it now as I hyperlinked it - but apparently it's all the rage with "The Kids") performed for about 45 minutes. I really liked his music; his style is very similar to that of John Mayer (as LL aptly pointed out) but with a bit more pep to it. He was selling CD's and tshirts, so I picked up a disk and got it autographed by Brad - he's very young (just out of high school himself) but is very likeable; was very gracious to be playing in front of a large audience and thanked everyone he talked to. He's playing again in a few weeks at some more local free shows, and I'm sure LL and I will be going again. After 5x August, the headliner of the show took the stage: Jackopierce. JP has been around for about 17 years, known mostly as a "college band", but receiving radio play in smaller markets around the country. They were decent, but I wasn't bowled over by their performance. Their set was pretty short, as daylight was running out, and after a speech by the mayor of Addison, the fireworks were set to commence.
The fireworks show lasted for about 25 minutes and was choreographed to music by one of the local radio stations, Jack-FM. It was a very enjoyable show...lots of oohs and ahhs, and with the enhancement of Shiner, was a lot of fun. My roomie, The Cheat, showed up with his girlfriend just before the fireworks began, and stayed for a while. After the fireworks, they put up a big screen and ran the last of what they were calling "Lone Star Drive-in", a series of movies in the park. The last showing was Days of Thunder, which I had never seen. It helped to watch it on a big screen with good sound, otherwise I probably never would have seen it. All in all, even with many of the events being rated 'so-so' at best, it was a very enjoyable afternoon and evening.