Our grandsons from Seattle, Henry and Max, and our daughter, Carrie, joined us for a week-long visit in Madison, Indiana. After their 2,000+ mile flight, they arrived just in time for our town’s 4th of July weekend Madison Regatta celebration. The festivies would kick off the following day.

The next morning, the boys and I went right to work on their “firecracker” t-shirts to wear to the Hometown USA Parade that night. The plan was to paint on the breezeway, but the sweltering heat moved us into the garage. Even without the sun beating down, it was plenty warm in there. My shirtless painters worked quickly and created their red, white & blue parade attire. And believe me, set outside after painting, it didn’t take long for their masterpieces to dry!

The boys had fun playing in the sprinkler, helping Ken hang the giant flag from the upstairs gallery, and decorating cupcakes for an after-parade treat.

After dinner, we sat in our folding chairs at Poplar & Main Street and watched the Hometown USA Parade complete with fire trucks, marching bands, monster trucks, hydroplane racing boats, floats, Shriners in teeny-tiny cars, horses, corvettes, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Madison Mayor Bob Courtney, and countless smiling people tossing candy and Mardi Gras beads into the crowd. Despite the heat, we had a fabulous time! (Thank you, Super ATV!)

The next day, we set off early to visit the Madison Farmers Market and the Broadway Fountain. The boys made a few wishes and tossed pennies in the fountain, and Mama came home with vegetables. Win-win!

Carrie and the boys went down to the river to watch Madison Regatta hydroplane racing heats from their blanket on the grassy riverbank, but they didn’t last long. The Midwest heat and humidity took a toll on the Northwest boys, and they came back looking for a cool retreat. We all decided what they really needed was a cool treat, so off we went in the golf cart to Sallie’s Small Batch Ice Cream. Delicious ice cream in cones and cups did the trick!

We closed out Saturday night back at the riverfront, enjoying the 4th of July City of Madison Firework Extravaganza. (Thank you Arvin Sango!) Even though it was technically July 2nd, the annual display during the Madison Regatta festival really brings out the crowds. The boys had a good time skipping rocks into the river, spotting fireflies, and watching lit Japanese lanterns climbing upward. At 10pm, after waiting for the barge bearing the fireworks to come upriver into position, a dazzling display was launched from the middle of the river into the night sky.

We’ll be celebrating Independence Day on the actual Fourth with more ice cream, more dancing in the sprinkler, and more sparklers and fireworks on the driveway. But the weekend kickoff of the Hometown USA Parade and Firework Extgravaganza (thank you, City of Madison) sure put us in the mood to celebrate the birthday of America!

Scene from Hometown USA Parade, July 1st 2022, Madison, Indiana

Written by


One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.