The King of the 4th!
If you head 40 mins west from Las Vegas, you'll stumble across a sleepy town called Pahrump, NV. Every spring my Dad and I make this journey through the Nevada desert with one mission in mind; protect the 4th of July throne with FIREWORKS! Lots of 'em...
The fact that I typically make this trip with my Dad is kind of ironic. When I was a kid he refused to spend anything more than $30 at the local fireworks stand. This meant I had to be strategic about what I chose. An assortment box with this budget wouldn't get me the pieces I liked most. So, I would spend days reviewing the fireworks pamphlet, circling my favorites, then calculating how I could get more "bang for my buck" (pun intended). When I'd get home with my stash, I would immediately line them up as if I was preparing for battle!
Today, it's a different story. For 10 years I've dragged my Dad to Pahrump. I choose every firework that my heart desires. And I show him the receipt after. It's the sweetest revenge...
(Did not buy this as Dalena would kill me...)
That said, there's much more to being "King of the 4th" than just blowing stuff up! As a passionate purveyor of BBQ and a proud grill man, this is a day I really get to flex my muscles. Essential to every 4th of July celebration is a "banging" menu comparable to the lights in the sky. My traditional go-to's are: All-American Cheese Burgers, Hot Dogs w/ every fixin' you can ask for, St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs, and my fan favorite Buffalo Wings. Add some corn on the cob and potato salad and you got yourself a happy crowd.
With fireworks and food all planned out, the next ingredient to rule the 4th is having the right decorations. With any party or celebration, the attention to details are what separate your event from any other ho-hum get together. My wife and I take decorating seriously (duh!). Our 4th of July collection is one of my favorites, with pieces that are traditional, vintage, and most importantly, fun! As King of the 4th, I want my family and friends to really soak in the experience and sensory overload is never a bad thing.
Despite the fireworks, and the food, and the cool decorations, why else does this day mean so much to me? Honestly, I can think of a ton of reasons...It makes me feel like a kid on summer break again. It was traditionally a day that the Twilight Zone marathon aired. Did I mention adult beverages yet? But more so, I think the 4th of July is one of our most authentic holidays. It's purpose, to celebrate America, doesn't even need much effort. I live everyday proud of my home and appreciative of the sacrifices made for us to enjoy this life to the fullest.
For me, celebrating the 4th of July is my way of saying thank you.