From childhood, mostly parades and fireworks. We lived in a valley surrounded by high rocky bluffs, so every "boom" echoed off the cliffs and the noise was multiplied. The local radio station always did fireworks "coverage" calling the bursts and colors.
In my teens I discovered that 4th of July pretty lines up with black cap raspberry season and would go looking for them then. I still think of this as berry season. I don't really go for the rah-rah patriotism on display, but I do like a good red-white-and-blue berry icebox cake with blackcap raspberries and redcurrants.
Weeds are just plants with enough surplus will to live to withstand normal levels of gardening!--Alexandra Petri
This simple question evokes such a complex answer for me, but the short version of that the 4th of July means a lot to me. I sorta have a triple-whammy reasoning for the 4th being my favorite holiday.
I was taught by my father from before I can remember about how lucky I am to be an American. Much of the reasoning is that I was born and raised during the late phase on the Cold War. I was taught about how lucky I was that in the United Stated I had rights that people on the other side of the Iron Curtain did not have (note: I am saying this from a historical context. Also in no way am I stating that people in other countries had no rights, simply that I was lucky to be an American. While I have a certain pride in my country, I fully understand and even expect others to have similar pride in their countries). Though he was only an amateur historian, he was well read and I was the fortunate recipient of his lessons. I realize that not everyone will agree with what my father taught or what he or I believe, but to me the 4th was always the beginning of a great history.
Stemming largely from this initial nascent interest, I became a high school history teacher and eventually earned a master's degree in history. Teaching something for over 20 years really makes one appreciate it all the more.
Finally, I was born on the 4th of July. Growing up, and to a degree still today, there was never a clear delineating line between where my birthday stopped and the 4th of July celebrations started. I always felt lucky to have been born on the 4th of July. We always had friends and family gathering, good food (food on the grill, corn on the cob, ripe fruit just picked etc.). And to cap off the day of course, there are fireworks--and last night's were really quite good, especially as we had not seed them last year due to cancellations due to COVID.