Our 4th July Celebrations. Pt 1

Florida Guide > Owners Vacation Diary

This was the second time we had been in the US for Independence Day celebrations. On the previous occasion, having visited Boston just a few days earlier, visiting Independence Hall and taking in the history of the War of Independence, we expected great things on July 4th. By the time Independence Day came around we were staying in a beautiful but small bed and breakfast hotel, in a seaside village in Rhode Island. I don' t even remember where we ate that evening, but apart from viewing a lone firework above a distant beach, it' s safe to say that America' s birthday went by very much uncelebrated.

On the second occasion we were determined to find the celebratory atmosphere somewhere! Research, especially on the Orlando Villas Forums, indicated that the theme parks were likely to be exceptionally busy, and depending upon whose account you read, there may or may not have been special events and special fireworks taking place.

Avoiding the theme parks left us with two options, Downtown Kissimmee or Celebration. As Celebration is one of our absolute favourite haunts, the choice was relatively easy. We planned to dine in a restaurant at some point during the evening but were tardy in making reservations, so four weeks before the event, our favourite Celebration restaurant, Cafe D' Antonio, was already fully booked. Having previously enjoyed a meal at Coloumbia, and finding that there were still dining options available, we booked online for an 8. 30pm table reservation.

When we visited Celebration at the beginning of our vacation, we picked up a schedule of events planned for 4th July and saw, disappointingly, the fireworks were scheduled for 9. 30pm which, in all probability, would clash with us eating our evening meal, however, at this stage it was too late to do anything about it.
The news channels and weather channels seemed to be giving the Independence Day celebrations a big build up. Locally, however, apart from the odd 4th July sale and notices in the shops indicating they were open for business as usual, there was no big build up to the occasion. On the morning of the 4th July, the fitness fanatic in our party returned from his morning jog reporting no banners, bunting or special decorations, not even a US flag were apparent on any of the homes in our community and we wondered if the evenings celebrations would turn out to be a white elephant. In fact, it rained so heavily in the early part of the afternoon that we questioned if the events planned may even be cancelled.

We had been warned that Celebration becomes particularly busy and that a park and ride scheme would be in operation, although we were not sure whether this would be compulsory or not. The schedule of events was advertised to start at 5pm and with out dining reservation planned for 8. 30pm we decided to arrive around 7pm.

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