Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our 4th of July Carnival!

Our family holds very strong feelings about our country. I think part of it comes from our parents growing up in small towns. There is certainly a different feeling when your dad (our Grandpa) is the Sergent in the National Guard. There wasn't much more going on in town besides things to do with The Guard.
We got the benefit of the small town when we were little kids too. Our uncle would hold a huge breakfast on the 4th of July. They would borrow huge grills from The Guard or church (I'm not sure which) and would grill the most amazing breakfast for the whole family. We would all gather at our uncle's home, which long before that had belonged to our Great-Grandparents. The house was passed down as well as the stories and the the love.
This was some of our pancake buffet breakfast. It included aebleskiver, chocolate chip pancakes (with whip cream), german pancakes, hash browns, fresh fruit, red white and blue ice cubes, and more!
After breakfast we would all walk up the street and put up chairs on another Uncle's lawn where we would watch a little parade. They had huge machines rolling in the parade. They would have to stop every once in a while to move power lines out of the way for the huge machines. They had these long poles to move the power lines. People on floats would throw out candy and we would rush into the street to gather it up.

Then, we would head to the local park where they had a carnival going on. They had all the usual old-fashioned carnival stuff going on. There were the contests where people entered their baked goods or homemade creations like beautiful quilts. I think our Grandma entered these. Then, there would be live entertainment, our cousins would be in some of the dance and singing performances. They had all the great carnival games going on (I think I remember us coming home with a gold fish from this carnival). I even remember a zipline one year. It was a really fun carnival, but was more fun because of all the family that was there at the same time. I wasn't just running around with my siblings, I got to run around with my cousins!

A lot has changed since then. The family homes have turned over to different hands and we aren't able to gather with our Uncles, Aunts and cousins as we once did. But we still have a love for all things patriotic.

Years ago, our parents started a new tradition for the 4th of July. They have started going to Naturalization Ceremonies. We have several adopted cousins. One of the most amazing things we ever did, was to attend the ceremony where one cousin became a naturalized citizen. So my parents addending the swearing in of new citizens on the 4th of July is a perfect fit. I highly recommend looking into something like this in your area.

Since our parents already have plans for the morning of the 4th, we decided it would be fun to gather this last weekend. We also thought it would be fun to have a little carnival for the kids. We tried to make as many things as we could, with things already on hand. So it was very much handmade.
Here are our rubber band shootersin action!Katrina's bowling game was so cute! She took it back with her, and so I'm going to have to make my own for this week, as we are continuing to play these games this whole week.

Erika and Anjeanette's delicious red, white, and blue ice cream! Oh, yum! We also had red, white, and blue snow cones. Rebecca's Father-In-Law threw out the idea of combining the ice cream with the shaved ice (they live in Hawaii and that's how they do it there), and! That was even better!

A fun action shot of
the balloon dart game. Look at that form!

We live in Arizona. So this was a must! After all the games and food, we had a water balloon fight. I swear we had people filling those balloons up all morning! And yet they always go so fast. We ended up just using buckets, the hose, and some of us ended up in the jacuzzi. I don't think anyone minded...after all, it was over 100 degrees!
A new twist on the old fishing game!
We turned the jacuzzi into a fish farm. Octopuses with washers on them were floated in the jacuzzi. We had two poles with strong magnets on the end for the fishing poles.
Here were the prizes for just that game. They were set up in groups of 1, 2, or 3. Each of the octopuses had a number on them. So, your prize matched the number on the prize table to your octopus! This game was quite a hit!
We had so many great games! Here we threw frisbees into a hula hoop.
We had cork guns that worked with a plunger like action. The older "kids" loved these.
Gotta love walking on stilt stompers!
How about knocking tin cans over with a wet smooshy ball!?
This is a great action shot of a ping pong gun knocking over gaterade bottles.

Not to let our prizes be forgotten either. We had tons of prizes displayed in jars for the kids to have the fun of picking out all that they wanted!

Ah, this is exactly why I wanted to have this carnival! Family, chaos, fun decorations, great games, and delicious food! What more could a girl ask for?

The Roots And Wings Co Ladies!


Joanne said...

This is just good old fashioned fun! Kudos to you all for taking the time to create such a wonderful carnival for your families!

Katherine Marie! said...

Amazing. Fun. Festive. Incredible way to celebrate this holiday!!!!!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Looks fun! I want to come!

Gwen said...

Beautiful carnival. Your post brings back so many memories of my childhood. I grew up in a bigger city, but for the 4th we would have a block party on our cul de sac.

Thanks for making me smile:)

Mama King said...

What a fun and creative day! I like that anyone could copy this for their own party. You talk about your amazing memories as children - I think you just created some amazing memories for your kids! Happy 4th

Crafty Mom said...

It's been a few weeks since I stopped by, here. I love the whole carnival idea and all the homemade games!

How did you make the flowers/starbust garland that's hanging in the kitchen?

I think we'll have to plan a carnival like this for next year!

twinkle teaches said...

I love all these ideas! I think my favorite is the kiddie pool with water balloons! :) I love the 4th as well. Thank you for sharing wonderful family ideas!

Heather said...

Very cool! This looks like so much fun! You guys have created some wonderful memories for your children.

Nicole A. said...

What Great ideas and looks like so much fun!

Packer Family said...

WoW!! I can't wait to try some of these out! I am palnning a fammily reunion and this would be great!!!

Roeshel said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing. :)

Swedie said...

I LOVE all your great patriotic ideas! I'm very patriotic, too. I am putting together a website on crafts, and I would like to link to your blog, especially the 4th of July part, when I get to that holiday.


Syndi said...

Thank you for the great ideas! I'm in charge of games for a chuch carnival and you've made it much easier!

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

Thanks so much for joining the Celebration Party! I'm a sucker for the carnival theme - Love every detail you added. Your games are so creative! The 4th bash is a wonderful idea! I'm always looking for another reason to break out the carnival gear! What a great party - Thanks so much for sharing! Great job!