Imagine you're going to Disney World in Orlando, Florida for the day. You pack all the stuff up, the rest of the family gets in the car with you (if you weren't fortunate enough to stay at one of the resort hotels), and you get hyped for your big day with the Mouse (Mickey, that is). Then, reality struck and you hit a half mile of traffic into the park. That's what hundreds of people realized when they tried to attend the Fireworks on the Lakefront presented by the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce on the first evening of the July 4th weekend, Friday, July 1st, 2010. But, I didn't let it get me down.
I arrived at the gathering at 7:45 pm (fireworks were scheduled for 9:15 pm) thinking that I would have plenty of time to snap some photos and take some video clips before the sun went down. But as mentioned above, the Disney World reality hit me, and I realized that if I wanted to get into the park before sunset, I needed to choose a different route. So, I parked at the South Shore Line train station, found a trail to cross the tracks and used my former (stressing former) high school cross country skills to maneuver inside the Indiana Dunes State Park before dusk. I was indeed able to snap some photos as you can see by this article.
Apparently, everyone thought this event was a great idea (it was a great idea), because everywhere there should have been beach, there was people. It was literally a sea of people. Many people were hitting up the food vendors (why not!?) including Third Coast Spice Cafe, Pendleton Dairy Queen Grill and Chill, and Thumann's. Vendors were actually selling out of food! Wow! Northwest Indiana is hungry! There was also some awesome, live music put on by the Chris and Lou Band thanks to the sponsorship of County Line Orchard. In fact, many sponsorships made this event possible, and some of them were Harris Bank, Lakeside Wealth Management, and the Indiana Toll Road. Many others were involved in giving back to the community in this way.
When it was all said and done, one could just look up as the "bombs burst in air" and realize that this event was not about the food or the music or even the mile and a half long line of traffic. (Or even the fact that my shirt was still stuck to my back because my little half-mile jog!) It was all about remembering the day a nation was born and the many people that have fought to protect and maintain our nation's savored freedom. Because if we don't have freedom, what do we have? So let's celebrate it, be grateful for it, and remember who gave it every day. God bless America!
More photos from the fun-filled event can be found here.
A video from the event can be viewed here as well.