Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fourth of July

The DH and I had an Authentic Oklahoma Cultural Experience last night.

We were invited by members of his parish to join them on a caravan trip to Yukon, to picnic, listen to the OKC Philarmonic and then watch what they promised were very good fireworks.

Fortified by excellent guacamole and Riesling, off we went. One of our assembly works for the Philharmonic, so we were able to park very close to the event at Chisholm Trail Park. The park had two large fountains and trees in rows down either side of this long park, some of which were hung with festive lights. There were a few vendors and a 70s rock cover band playing when we arrived. Red, white and blue everywhere. Note to self: Oklahomans of all stripes, faiths and political persuasions take the 4th very seriously. We had a nice view of the gazebo where the orchestra was to play, fried chicken (can't have the 4th without fried chicken), yummy corn salad with basil, orange brownies and hummingbird cake. I contributed fruit salad with a touch of pineapple mint out of my own garden. There were Nazarenes offering free watermelon, and there were rumors of free ice cream as well, but I never found it (I'll have to turn in my card, I know). The rain earlier in the day had kept things relatively cool (by OKC standards) and as evening fell a nice breeze picked up.

The orchestra played your standard combination of pops/patriotic music, heavy on the John Williams (two selections from "Superman?") Perhaps in this current politcal environment, playing Star Wars music which included the "Imperial March" wouldn't have been a good choice. They finished with a weird version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" which included extra words. Not written by Francis Scott Key. Not a good choice either.

Still it was well-performed and the fireworks went on for a good 30 minutes. They lived up to advertising. It was, I think, the best display I had ever seen, especially the ones that hung in the air and seemed to rain down upon the oohing and aahing audience. It may have gone on a tad too long (one taped Sousa march too many as far as I was concerned), but that hardly detracted from the overall experience. And unlike fireworks under the Arch in St. Louis, where smoke tends to hang in the humid air over the crowd, the ever-present Oklahoma wind moved these off as fast as they went up.

We straggled home near 11:00, tired, full, smelling of fried chicken and Off! and pineapple (that was me, having chopped it all for the salad). It was a very satisfying experience of the 4th. Sign me up for next year. I want to find that free ice cream.


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