Webster Groves Fourth of July Festival

December 2, 2009
The smell of kettle corn and fried chicken hits the nose while walking towards the Webster Groves Fourth of July Festival. Metal screeches as the rides go, bells from games ring, and kids on the rides scream. On the other side of the road blankets and chairs are already set up, two nights in advance, to get a spot for the fireworks.

Workers yell to have everyone come and play their game.
“Win a fabulous prize right here! Just gotta make it in the hoop!”
Kids beg their parents to go buy some more tickets so that they can play more games. The look on the parents’ faces shows that they don’t want to go buy more, but they want to keep their kids happy, so they head to the ticket booth. The smell of food gets stronger; carts full of different delights everywhere: hot dogs, snow cones, and kettle corn, funnel cake, kebabs, even foods from different countries.

There is a large tent to go and sit in the shade and eat at the end of the walkway. Half the tables in a large tent at the end of the walkway are reserved; there must be some event happening later that night. At the end of the tent, three tables of cops take their break for the day. At another, three kids eat snow cones and cool off in the shade. The youngest boy, probably about five years old, looks like he is having the time of his life. He’s too distracted by all the sights and noises to eat his icy treat. He’s asking a new question about all the things going on around him every five minutes.
“What was that noise?”
“What does your snow cone taste like?”
“Can I try yours?”
“What are those people doing?” he says as he sees the cops and decides to go over and talk to them. He has them explain all their working tools and then asks more questions about them. When he wonders about the walkie-talkie the police man he’s talking to lets him talk into it.
“Hello, hello! Hello?”
Any other policeman working, that are on the same signal just heard a five year old say hello five times in a row. When someone replies back with a hello, the boy is filled with excitement. Then his mind wanders as he looks around and focuses on a motorcycle. It’s the coolest thing ever. He walks up to it slowly, almost as if it might jump out and try to get him like an animal. He stares at all the shiny gadgets and feels the smooth leather seat. Since it was out in the sun the leather and metal are breathing fire. A cop asks if he wants to sit on it, the little boy can’t believe it. Of course he wants to sit on it! The police man puts a towel on the seat to save him from the hot leather. He picks up the little boy and sits him on top. The boy is ecstatic.
As he gets off, you can tell he is tired. The sun beats down on his face and he begins to sweat. He goes up to the adults with him to tell them all about the motorcycle. They listen and are so happy that he had a good time. He holds the hand of a lady walking with him as they leave the smell of all the food, the ringing bells, clattering of metal and the police man with his walkie-talkie and motorcycle behind. He will remember this day for the rest of his life.





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