By DANA DITTMAR, CEO, Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce
They laughed at me here at the Chamber earlier this week. (Laughing at me is not a rare occurrence around here.) This time I was designing a small sign to go on our front doors announcing we would be closed on Friday for the holiday.
I’m a stickler for people understanding the true meaning and appreciation of our nation’s special days, so I made the sign to read: “We will be closed today in order to celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence from England.” (No offense to our friends in Great Britain, but let’s face it: We didn’t declare independence from Sweden.)
“Isn’t that a little wordy?” I was asked. Perhaps. But saying “Happy 4th” just doesn’t do it for me. Fourth what? On that day in 1776, our Founding Fathers did what had never been done in history, and gave us a document that has never been written before or since by anyone. It has guided our country for 239 years and led us to be the greatest country on Earth.
A little note of trivia here: Did you know that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (both signers of the Declaration and both Presidents) both died on July 4th of 1826? Exactly 50 years to the day of the great signing!
July 4th is more than just a birthday party with cookouts and fireworks. It is a celebration of the creation of the most unique country on this planet.
Not that I don’t love a great barbecue and wear all my red, white and blue myself — I do, and I do it proudly! In fact, this year, I’m going a little overboard: flag-designed flip flops, flag-adorned tank top, navy shorts, red-white-and-blue star earrings and necklace. I stopped short of the headband with pinwheel antennae. And I will make sure to eat a hot dog, since that is — or should be — our national food.
So, it was with much anticipation that I invited my Kings Point friends to a progressive dinner and to see our own professional fireworks display. We’ll dine in four homes as we progress from appetizers to salad, entrée to dessert. Then it’ll be our own little golf cart parade to downtown to see the fireworks!
The amazing displays we’ve had in years past were some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and that sentiment was shared by everyone around me. The displays were huge, bright, and simply fantastic. Congratulations to the team that coordinates and executes the show! And a huge shout-out to Minto for their financial contribution to the event.
The next holiday the Chamber is closed will be Labor Day. I’m not sure how I will word the sign on the door, but you can bet it will include a salute to American workers and their contributions to this great country. If they let me continue to make the signs.