Most of us have fond memories of those good old-fashioned Independence Day celebrations in our home town. Watching or marching in the parade. Enjoying games and great summer food in the park. And staying up to watch the fireworks exploding in the night sky.
Wait a minute! Those aren’t just memories. Those are all things on the schedule for this 4th of July at some Sunshine Retirement Living communities.
Starting at Dunwoody Pines Retirement Community in Dunwoody, Georgia, Activity Director Ashley Hurd is getting ready for a Rocking 4th of July Celebration from 3:30-5:00 pm in the North Atrium. It starts with a parade for staff and residents. Then the feast begins with BBQ chicken sliders, potato salad, watermelon stars, patriotic Oreo dippers, and Red, White & Blue Punch. The soundtrack for the event will be provided by local musician Craig Gleason who will sing and play summertime tunes on his guitar.
On the other side of the country, Kelsay Renzelman, Activity Director at Park Wood Assisted Living Community in Surprise, Arizona has a bang-up holiday prepared for residents and family members. The day starts with entertainment and a jewelry vendor before Chef Chuck sets out his delicious lunch menu, featuring BBQ Ribs, Summer Squash Soup, Mixed Green Salad, Corn on the Cob, Coleslaw, Watermelon and a Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake.
After lunch, the fun kicks into gear with a somewhat old-fashioned, somewhat new-fangled carnival. Residents can choose between an Uncle Sam-themed Bean Bag Toss or the more modern version of bean bag tossing known as Corn Hole. The carnival also features a hole of Goofy Golf, a patriotic-themed Ring Toss, and games of Ping Pong ball tossing and Match-a-Duck, where players try to remember and match the numbers hidden on the bottom of several identical rubber ducks to win a prize.
“Handing out prizes is fun,” says Renzalman. “But I really enjoy hearing residents tell me that playing all the silly carnival games makes them feel like a kid again. To me, that’s what the 4th of July is all about.”
Of course, the icing on the cake at the end of the day, is watching your local fireworks display, maybe with a buttery bag of popcorn or an ice cream cone. Park Wood residents with the energy to stay up after all the 4th of July fun are lucky enough to have a big show nearby at 8:00 pm. And many other communities do as well.
Check with your local Activity Director to see what kinds of events are going on in your area. Why just reflect on your favorite 4th of July memories when you could be lighting off a few new ones?