Fifes! Drums! Fifes’n’drums! It’s that time of year when every local car dealership reminds you that our forefathers wore powdered wigs and marched around to the tune of Yankee Doodle! The best thing is: THEY ARE ACCURATE! Celebrate how silly the 18th century was, and then keep the celebratin’ and the fifin’ going all weekend long.
For those of you who want to dig a little deeper into the world of family-oriented Things, head over to our new 5 Things for Families. But then head back. I’ll get lonely.
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1. BE AMERICAN
Today is the day that we flout our Americanness in every way possible. I’m making a cheesecake in the shape of a flag while jammin’ on the B-52s. What will YOU be doing? Will you be heading to the Chesterfield County Fourth of July Celebration (my B-52s tradition began there in 1998 when I got stuck in post-fireworks traffic with one CD in the car)? The Ashland Fourth of July Celebration (I’ve never been, but I have the B-52s queued up on my phone and am ready to head north)? Dogwood Dell (The B-52s are scheduled to play live! That is a joke, do not quote me on that!)?? Your own backyard???? Whatever you decide, do it up right. It’s the best holiday ever, and if I hear about you squandering it by being grumpy and pretending you don’t love fireworks and bunting, I am sending redcoats after you. It won’t be pretty.
- Thursday, July 4th • all day
- All over town. Nay, all over AMERICA.
- The blood of our ancestral patriots
Think about it. It’s the perfect follow up to Independence Day. You won’t have to sit around and be depressed, counting down the days until next year. No! You can WALK around and be depressed and count down the days until next year! Maybe some excellent art will turn your frown upside down? Maybe some good food-cart vittles will rekindle your zest for life? Maybe it will stop raining for two seconds so you can enjoy your summer in the out-of-doors, albeit with the frizziest hair of your life.
- Friday, July 5th • 5:00 – 9:00 PM
- Broad Street, a few blocks from Belvidere
- It’s always free to walk around
Exercising is fine, just fine. But exercising in a rave-like manner on the lush grounds of one of the city’s most celebrated Victorian settings? WHAT! DID THE COOLEST THING JUST HAPPEN? Get your glow on and scamper around Maymont like you never have before. And hey, guess what, it’s a 3-miler, so you can participate no matter what your running skill level is. Plus, the bison and wildcat will cheer you on—unless you’ve got the baby goats on your team. In which case, I bow down to you.
- Saturday, July 6th • 6:00 – 8:00 PM
- Maymont Park, Carriage House Lawn
Now hear me out. I know you’re all amped from fireworks and walking and then running. But you’ve got to cool down, my friend. The Virginia Historical Society is putting on a really important exhibit…that is, if you like music. And you probably don’t, right? I mean, who does. ONLY EVERYONE. The revolutionary musicians of the Sixties had a lot in common with their counterparts in the previous Sixties, turns out. The VHS has a collection of icons, including Pete Seger’s head (no wait, sorry, misread that, it’s Pete Seger’s BANJO head) and original Civil War sheet music. Take a moment for quiet reflection, and then go change the world. There’s no need to wait for 2060.
- Through the end of the year • see site for operating hours
- Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard
And now we’re firmly back into reality. Bill Conference, one of my favorite things ever, is back, this time tackling the terrifyingly vague world of parenting. Sure, there are plenty of parenting philosophies, methods, brags, what have you. But how often do people just get up and talk about something they tried with their kids that succeeded or failed? Bill is an unconference, which means that there’s no set agenda, and speakers can be interrupted or silenced at our will. It’s about having a very low-pressure conversation and learning more about things you hadn’t thought of before. It will inspire you in very small ways, which is perfect, since this one is about very small people. It’s running in two segments, so that both parents have a chance to go, and I guarantee you will come out of there with some ideas, reassurance, hilarious stories to repeat…everything that you’re looking for. Oh, and don’t worry, there will probably not be any actual tiny humans in attendance.
- Monday, July 8th • 6:00 – 8:00 PM
- 804RVA, 1657 W. Broad Street
- $10 (includes light refreshments, courtesy of Garnett’s)