The Fourth of July is a wonderful American traditional holiday. You learn about the incredible sacrifices made by our forefathers to gain our independence as a nation. You discover what it must have been like to be ruled by a country on the other side of the ocean. You come to understand how much passion and spirit went into writing the Declaration of Independence, and how it felt to finally be free of England’s rule…
WAIT! Hold on! Besides fifth grade history class, I’m not sure I ever learned much of anything about the Declaration of Independence or our forefathers or anything else. I just remember seeing fireworks. Here, there, everywhere were the fireworks. To quote Grover from Sesame Street, the fireworks are “near…. far…,” and just about anywhere you are! I have to say, I think I’ve had enough.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like fireworks as much as the next guy. I’ve been victim every year to the mass swarms that are drawn in herds to the obnoxious bangs and swirling streamers and big flashes of light that fill the sky. But the thing is, no matter where you go, it’s the same thing. So, I’ve decided that I need to find something better to do, something more exciting, something new…
Here are five ideas of OTHER places you can be during July and the July 4th holiday period this year. Get out of the rut, and find some type of celebration or activity to renew the vigor you had the first time you ever saw lit a sparkler in your back yard. Enjoy that week with a holiday off work! Try an alternative celebration!
1. 41st Montreux Jazz Festival from July 6th to 21, 2007 in Switzerland. Here, you will find a music festival! Traditionally, the festival was just about jazz music, but this is no longer the case. Many different types of music can be heard. In the past, music legends including Ray Charles and Miles Davis have performed at this event. The format of the festival has just been revamped. In addition to great music, the festival has much more to offer. You can find jazz boats, voice and guitar competitions and workshops, a jazz cafe and a cocktail garden. Some of 2007’s performers include The Chemical Brothers and the B52’s. Montreux is located in the Lake Genevaregion, about 60 miles from Geneva’s International Airport. Montreux rests at the base of the Swiss Alps.Visit the official site.
2. Castel Sant’ Angelo during the month of July in Rome, Italy. Visit a historic castle next to the Vatican in Rome! Castel Sant’ Angelo first was a mausoleum for an Emperor back in the second century. It later became a safety-zone for popes during times of political unrest. You will find during the entire month of July and part of August, performances every evening. These include plays and concerts! The activities are centered around the castle, in the bastions and courtyards. Some events last as late as midnight each evening!
3. Adelaide Festival of Ideas in Australia. Wish to engage your think tank? If you’d rather create than watch creations, then this is the venue for you. The 2007 Adelaide Festival of Ideas is held from July 5th to 7th. It’s theme this year is “Which Way to the Future?” Speakers will discuss the future for countries such as India and China, and you will hear from scientists on changes of the environment from man’s actions. Most of the lectures and forums are free to the public. You will find the rigors of intellectual debate, housed in downtown Adelaide, Australia! See their website.
4. Star Wars Celebration Europe, July 13-15 in Excel, London! Are you a Star Wars fan? You might not get to take advantage of this event right on July 4th, but that’s okay! The celebration promises to be worthwhile and to be much more interesting than some fireworks. Star Wars Celebration Europe celebrates the 30th anniversary of Star Wars! There will be cast members from the Star Wars movies present, and innumerable numbers of Star Wars fans. The event is hosted by Lucasfilm and The Cards Incorporated Group.
5. The Great Tibetan Marathon Tour July 12-24, 2007. Wow, this looks fascinating! You will experience 13 days of fun, including an international flight to India’s Himalayan Kingdom, sightseeing and excursions, and visits to theTaj Mahal. You will join in the event by running the marathon, half marathon, 10k or 5k races. Me personally, I’d have to pick the 5k race (which is less than three miles!) This adventure is interesting because of some great spots to visit and you can enter a race! Think of yourself running a marathon in Tibet, with the Himalayan mountains in the background….