4th of July Parade

posted on June 27, 2012 by  |  posted under Fun With Kids, Patriotic Holidays  |  25 Comments

Hold your own 4th of July Parade!

The 4th of July is possibly one of my top favorite holidays. Family, food, water, fireworks, cute outfits to put the kids in,…it’s simply a fun holiday {not to mention the beautiful significance of celebrating our freedom}. This past year we had several small children around my home during the 4th of July.  We thought of all the fun things we COULD, but probably SHOULDN’T, do with the toddlers:  Sparklers {too risky}, Big Fire Work Show {too late}, 4th of July Parade {we’d lose the kids}. I was starting to feel a little ‘gyped’ until my Mother-in-law took control of the events. Now, HANDS DOWN, I can say my very favorite 4th of July memory was created this past year, in front of my little house, with a simple, hilarious, homemade celebration.

My Mother-in-law decided to bring the events to us.  Who needs to go to a 4th of July Parade when the parade can literally come to your neighborhood?!

After buying all sorts of inexpensive decorations for the children to decorate their bikes and scooters with, the kids got to work.  This was going to be one parade to remember.

Hold your own 4th of July Parade!They were so proud of their creations and were ready to celebrate in style.Hold your own 4th of July Parade! Hold your own 4th of July Parade! The children then proceeded to line up on the neighborhood sidewalk.Hold your own 4th of July ParadeBut wait!  We needed a “drum major” to lead the parade.  My sweet husband stepped up and took responsibility. {Yes, he is a dork and yes, that is a mop} 😉

Hold your own 4th of July ParadeOne of the uncles hopped in the car, opened the doors, BLARED patriotic music, and drove slowly next to the kids as they walked on the sidewalk.  It didn’t take long until our neighbors started opening their doors, other kids started following, and people started clapping. Hilarious!  The kids felt so special and thought it was a SERIOUS PARADE. What a priceless priceless memory!

Hold your own 4th of July ParadeI can’t wait to make this a family tradition.  Wait, a NEIGHBORHOOD tradition.  Can you just see it?!  Send out an invitation to participate, have all the neighborhood kids decorate their bikes, and have a line up of adorable patriotic kids?!  There is no way a million dollar firework show could beat this event.

Hold your own 4th of July Parade

Meet the brains behind this perfect parade,…my incredibly creative Mother-in-law, Dianne.

Hold your own 4th of July Parade

Five Fun Facts:

-If I could have any job in the world, I would LOVE to write the teaser blurbs on the back of books.  Can you imagine?  Just sitting there reading all day and then deciding what to write on the back of the cover?  Is that horribly wrong?  Yes. I would be good at that.

-I raised four children in a house the size of a garage with one bathroom.

-At the school I teach, I was once asked to paddle my own son.  Yes, the one in the pictures. :)

-I grew up mostly outside the United States.

-In can speak enough Arabic to call someone an ‘ugly name’ and say ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  I can speak enough Italian to order at any restaurant in Italy (which is the most important part of traveling there).  I can speak French fluently.  Oh, and I’m pretty good at English.

Super Hero Power Wanted:

The ability to Clone myself.  One of me would go to work, another one would stay home cooking, another one of me would read all day, another one would play,… you get the idea.

Thank you Dianne for sharing this creative idea.  As fun as the traditional celebrations are, it is so fun to have other ideas! :)  Do you have any unique traditions?  What are you doing this 4th?!

    1. June 23rd, 2010 at 12:13 am
      Jeannette says:
      That is such a great idea! I'll have to keep that in mind when my little guy is mobile. I can imagine it would be a hit with on post housing.
    2. June 23rd, 2010 at 4:40 am
      Green Gracie Home says:
      totally cute idea...I think invites to the culdesac will be going out!
      .-= Green Gracie Home´s last blog ..Where Am I Wednesday? =-.
    3. June 23rd, 2010 at 7:24 am
      Andrea Leland says:
      so cute! Our neighborhood started a bike parade tradition on the 4th a couple years ago, and it is wonderful for the kids to get their bikes all decorated and parade down the street. Great memories and a fun way to celebrate the 4th with little ones. Great job!
      We have that little red buggy car too and my Ethan loves it!
      .-= Andrea Leland´s last blog ..Cranberry Oat Cereal Bars =-.
    4. June 23rd, 2010 at 8:33 am
      Nesleirbag says:
      What a darling idea! And if you threw in a story or two of our Founding Fathers each year before or after the parade it would enhance it even further as an amazing, teaching event in the kids' lives.
    5. June 23rd, 2010 at 8:59 am
      Jenn says:
      Our neighborhood does this and it is a BLAST! I look forward to it every year. My kids love it too ... of course!
    6. June 23rd, 2010 at 9:58 am
      Sarah says:
      Yeah! In two hours we are having a Primary presidency meeting to plan a 4th of July parade, and I was sitting here wondering if it was doable! Thanks for showing me it CAN work! (We did these as kids all the time. I remember going up and down the streets of our neighborhood every year!)Thanks!
      .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Tessa 'n Adam =-.
    7. June 23rd, 2010 at 10:15 am
      Lauren says:
      I love Dianne. She's SO creative. Shelley, this is such a cute idea! Can't wait to use it...probably NEXT year! Happy 4th!
    8. June 23rd, 2010 at 10:48 am
      Amanda says:
      We are so doing this! I love this idea!!! And my three year old would love it!!!!
      .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Anniversary Celebration: J'Adore Dior 8 Image Iron On Review and Giveaway =-.
    9. June 23rd, 2010 at 11:48 am
      Melissa says:
      Funny the things you learn from blogs... I had no idea Aunt Dianne was fluent in French!!
    10. June 23rd, 2010 at 12:19 pm
      Sariah says:
      Our neighborhood did this growing up. It is a wonderful memory for me! We always had popcicles at the end of the parade route.
    11. June 23rd, 2010 at 2:48 pm
      Alice says:
      What a clever way to get in the spirit of our national holiday The 4th of July. This would be awesome if over the whole USA all neighborhoods made this a tradition for the 4th of July celebration instead of all those dangerous fire works.I have never been a fan of anything exploding. Continuing to enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing.
    12. June 23rd, 2010 at 2:51 pm
      Alice says:
      P. S. Your husband makes a good Uncle Sam. MIL is to be commended.
    13. June 23rd, 2010 at 3:18 pm
      candace says:
      This has to be one of my favorite post Shelley! First off the kids are beautiful and the picture of Brad being all serious makes me laugh. And Dianne IS THE MOST CREATIVE PERSON I KNOW! HANDS DOWN!!!
    14. June 23rd, 2010 at 10:43 pm
      Penny says:
      That first picture of Brad made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! And yes, that was my favorite Fourth of July celebration of all time! And I've been at some pretty great ones!
    15. June 24th, 2010 at 6:56 am
      Dianne says:
      Oh, Shelley, this brought back such wonderful memories...golly, this is truly...hands down...my favorite 4th of July memory ever! I will never forget how seriously cute all the children were as they were decorating and then marching/riding around the neighborhood...and how fun it was when all the neighborhood kids came out and lined the streets! Wow, what a memory! The best! (Even a bouncy house in the backyard at Christmas can't hold a candle to this one!)
    16. June 24th, 2010 at 6:43 pm
      Brooke says:
      This is so amazingly simple and perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. I think I am going to have to get some great twin friends together this fourth to try it out. We have been scratching our heads for ideas, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

      .-= Brooke´s last blog ..Potty Training Day Three =-.
    17. June 24th, 2010 at 9:59 pm
      Megan says:
      How cute is this! I love that your husband got in on the action too. I know the kids in my neighborhood would gobble this up and think it was fantastic!
      .-= Megan ´s last blog ..An apron makeover =-.
    18. June 25th, 2010 at 5:19 am
      Jodee Leader says:
      What a cute post! Our family is starting a 4th of July bike parade in our neighborhood this year. I just posted on it yesterday:


      I can't wait to see your pictures from this year!
    19. July 2nd, 2010 at 4:30 pm
      randee says:
      dianne - what a fun thing to do! i have 4 grandchildren under the age of 5 1/2 & next year, we're having a parade (whether they like it or not!, hah!)

      shelley - thanks for sharing this with everyone.
    20. July 4th, 2010 at 11:58 am
      Angie says:
      What wonderful memories!! Your kiddos will cherish this!
    21. March 21st, 2012 at 2:52 pm
      Sherri H. says:
      My family has done this for almost 20 years.... they get a permit, close their street and have a huge neighborhood 4th of July party. The kids bike parade starts it off.... Kids can pre-decorate or we provide buckets of decorations for on the spot decor. My Dad has one of those old fashioned bikes with the big wheel in the front and leads the parade up and down the center of the street. The crowd goes wild and the kids love it. With the street closed - they get to ride up and down the street all day without worries of traffic. Live bands and several games continue thru the day with view of the professional fireworks show at night. Fantastic tradition!
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