American Independence Day in Germany sounds seriously anticlimactic but thanks to my softball club and the US Army it was actually a great celebration. Last year, the holiday, which has always been a personal favorite and deep seeded in childhood traditions, was celebrated by a last minute BBQ at our apartment in BS. This year, I didn't need to give it much thought as the baseball/softball club I play for put up a sign in June announcing a party for American Independence day. When I woke up on the 4th, I dressed in red white and blue (there's a photo to prove it), I had waited for this party for weeks. I heard stories of grilled cheeseburgers and hot dogs, American beer, corn on the cob, cocktails and even watermelon and all were present except for the watermelon. There was even a live band playing a mixture of country and classic rock songs and there was no shortage of American flags.
A few days before the 4th a fellow American told me about a German American festival hosted on the Army base which puts on fireworks. I'm a sucker for fireworks on the 4th and it was not hard convincing Patrick that fireworks would be a mandatory part of the night so we planned to leave the party at 9:45 in order to get to the festival for 10:30 fireworks. This was plenty of time to make the 15 minute drive and find a parking spot. We got lucky and found one of the last illegal spots when we arrived and headed in the direction of the two men walking down the road assuming they were going to the same place. They were and we soon arrived at the gate, showed our ids and excitedly looked through the chain link fence at the carnival full of people. Suddenly we were in a very long line. Turns out everyone needed to go through a metal detector. We stood in this line for about 30 minutes. Just when we advanced to the last 1/4 of the line and behind a row of thick trees, the first firework shot off. We missed all but the grand finale (we saw that from outside of the fence) but continued in to enjoy the festival. A true mix of Germans and Americans, I almost felt like I was in Pawtucket. I haven't seen so many baggy shorts, long Ts and baseball caps and the DJ in the food tent was straight hip hop! I loved it!!! Saddened by the missed fireworks, we vowed to return on Sunday for the fireworks show which symbolized the closing of this week long festival. The photos here are from Sunday when we enjoyed such American delicacies as A&W Root Beer, taco salad in an edible bowl (mine) a burrito (Patrick's) and American ice cream - peanut butter cup all while listening to a country band from Montana. It was a classic American evening. < >
The German American Folk Festival has been going on for 52 years or as Patrick pointed out "It's as old as my [his and mine for that matter] dad!" This year I truely have the Amred forces to thank on Independence Day - both for all the service men and women who have fought for Independence over the years and for putting on a great event and a fireworks display that could rival McCoy