For Independence Day this year we had several options of activities, festivals, and fireworks shows to attend. We had to sift through the possibilities to find what worked best for our one-month-old for a shorter outing.
We decided on Tumwater’s Artisanal Family Festival and Thunder Valley Fireworks show held at the golf course. With such an impressive title and yearly turn out of 10,000 people or more, we were expecting local vendor booths, many food booths and truck options, live music, and a great fireworks show.
Two hours after the festival started we paid our $10 to park. Loading up the stroller for the first time, we trekked our way to the driving range. When we got passed security, we saw family after family already set up with blankets, chairs, coolers, even tents ready for the fireworks show in two hours.
Hungry, we decided first to scope out the food options. We were surprised to only six food vendors on the left hand side of the stage, all of which had massive lines. Thinking we were going to stroll through aisles of booths, in reality there were only two local product vendors: one for Rainer cherries, the other for jerky.
We go a sampling of BBQ and Asian and set to find a place on the grass. Once settled, we look around a little more, on the opposite end of the stage were rows of inflatables and a children’s stage. We listened to a DJ mix dance-able songs, but were disappointed to never hear any local music.
A little later four skydivers dropped from a plane to a designated painted spot in the grass. Upon landing they randomly picked up raffle information cards placed on the field by children who entered to win prizes. The last diver displayed an American flag. It was definitely a highlight of the night.
Soon after it started to get dark and the count down to the fireworks show began with a lot of hype. We decided based on the crowd, and how Zach was doing, to leave during the show and finish watching from the car. The display was introduced by the national anthem and a short speech from the mayor. But the show lasted less than twenty minutes and was not extremely impressive.
Overall it was still worth while. This event was very family friendly, also, if you did not park in the main lot, was free of cost, so for many people it was worth the crowd.
We got a chance to try something new and see how Zach would do with a longer outing. He enjoyed people watching and listening to the music and didn’t get upset until he got understandably tired and hungry.We will probably go to a different event next year, but I think Zach had a pretty good first 4th of July.
What did you do for the holiday?