Independence Day rolls around every July and every year I scramble through my closet for something red white and blue. Every year I give up and wear something completely unpatriotic to my friend Sarah’s BBQ where we eat burgers, drink beer and swim. Every year I fear the house will burn down while we watch the unlicensed firework creators set off their colors into the sky. I return to work that following week and after a brief conversation of which fireworks everyone saw and what beer everyone drank no one talks about the 4th of July.
This year was different. My parents and grandma had planned a trip to Asheville, North Carolina for the July 4th weekend. I asked if I could tag along half joking. When my parents graciously invited me, my sister jumped in on it too and it became a family+grandma trip to the patriotic south for what is the most patriotic day of year.
Its controversial whether NC is an official culturally Southern state, but to a tri-state area born and bred citizen like myself, it was as low key and friendly as I had hoped!
After exploring the “hippie” city of Asheville, eating two of the greatest meals I have ever had. (Don’t worry I have a separate post for those), we headed to the small town of Montreat where a Independence Day parade was taking place. This year I sported an American flag headband to match my outfit. Well my friends, if you ever say that America is not a patriotic county just head down South. My dad and grandma felt very out of place in their clothing choices. They were the only ones out of the 1000ish people not in American colors. The parade was a flow of pure American pride for those 30 minutes. Everyone in the town was either marching or watching and loving every minute of it.
To top the day off we traveled about 30 miles to Wayensville where a small town festival was taking place. We sat outside on their main street surrounded by American flags, Uncle Sams and folks dressed in countless of American costumes. Live bands played soulful country music that made the crowd feel proud to be an American.
We headed back to the hotel to regroup. I squeezed in a run of hill sprints on our hotel street, the only non-main road in the area. During my run I came across another tourist runner who was also looking for some nice roads. We expressed how frustrated we were to not be near any trails (well at least not running distance away) in NC but soon got over it and did some hills together. Ahhh how I love the running community.
That night we drove South to Hendersonville for fireworks. Once again, live music filled the streets. As Hendersonville appeared to be a bit more upper-class than the other towns we visited, it was by no means less patriotic. We sat on a stone wall as the beautiful balls of fire shot through the sky once again filling me with patriotic thoughts.