After doing our research on the subject, we learned that in order to have a fighting chance at claiming a good piece of ground, we should arrive no later than 4 pm for the 9 pm show. There will be no funnel cake stands, ferris wheels, or arts and crafts booths to entertain us while we wait in the stifling heat and humidity. Instead we’ve packed a cooler full of picnic food, a blanket, a radio, and board games.
Eddie and I went through a similar experience on Thanksgiving when we decided to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We arrived at 6 am to find a parking spot, staked out about 3 square feet of personal space, and stood for hours in the cold. There were no restrooms or porta-potties and we wound up with a parking ticket, despite our careful reading of all the traffic signs and regulations.
The funny thing is, we were two of millions going through this series of events that to anyone else, sounds like an awful headache. And even more funny, we’ll probably do it all again next year. There is something unexplainably special about these holiday celebrations. They create excitement, anticipation, and an uncharacteristic willingness to go through the most tiresome and strange things. But as we contemplate all the meaning and significance of today and other holidays, we know the difficulties will only last a few hours but the payment for all our effort is a lifetime of memories and stories about the time we got to watch a few moments of magic.