Fourth of July in Paris

We've compiled some memories of the 4th of July for this special post. We hope you enjoy!

The 4th of July is when Paris, Idaho shines! Thousands of visitors flock to this town of less than 500 to have the “small town 4th of July experience.” There are traditions and activities I loved as a kid I have outgrown and replaced with different traditions and activities. Let me explain…

Bright and early at 6 A.M. is the Flag Raising Ceremony held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When I was a little girl, all I knew about this ceremony is that my brothers had to get up early and dress in their scout uniforms to participate. Now, it’s the best way for me to start out my holiday! The flag is presented by the Scouts and raised, everyone in attendance recites the pledge of allegiance. There is also a talk and a musical number. As the ceremony comes to a close the sun starts to peak over the mountains reminding me of what a great country I live in!

The patriotic program held in the tabernacle is another example. I used to roam around the tabernacle during the program and anxiously await the start of the parade. When I was older I decided to go to the program. I was amazed how great it was! They have each individual who has served in branches of the military stand when their military branch song is played. There are a lot of musical numbers and a narrator that reminds us of the sacrifices other have made for us to enjoy the freedoms we do.

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Our grandma serving pancakes at the breakfast. One of our most cherished pictures!

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Last year I helped my parents cook in the chuck wagon breakfast (thanks Suzanne for snapping this awesome picture of me!) I was wondering why my wrists were so sore the next day and realized it was from flipping pancakes all morning!


Looking back I consider myself so lucky to have grown up in Paris. The summers there are amazing (except for the mosquitos)! They seem to go by way too fast, so you kind of have to enjoy every second of sunshine you possibly can. 

When I was little, my favorite part of the summer was the 4th of July. It was a day that seemed to last forever! My day started with the chuckwagon breakfast. Waking up at my parents' house, you can hear the old western music playing at the breakfast. It would get me so excited for the day!

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Me standing by the music car. It blasts old-timey country music while you eat your breakfast.

After I would eat the delicious breakfast, I would go home and get my bike. It seemed like I was on my bike the rest of the day. I would ride around the chuck wagon breakfast until it was over and then I would make my way to the tabernacle and hang out there until the patriotic program was over. I would sit out on the lawn and listen to the program. Next was the parade. One of my favorites! We would sit and wait in anticipation until we could see the rangers on their horses carring the flag. They are always the first in every parade.

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After the parade I would get on my bike and head to the rodeo. Following the rodeo there was usually a cookout and fireworks.

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Cute, festive little bowls that I made one year for the cookout.  (tutorial here)

I still love the 4th of July in Paris but I have my own family to share it with now. It has been so fun to see my kids experience all the fun activities. My little girl devoured her breakfast from the chuck wagon last year. My son had Apple Jacks (kind of a picky eater).

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It wouldn't be a parade in Paris without a tractor. 

They love the parade! Filling their bags up with candy and waving to all the people on the floats. It's kind of a slower-paced 4th of July with young kids. I might not get to cram everything I want to do in for the day, but I get to slow down and enjoy the big things. Family, traditions, good food, a wonderful little town, and teaching my kids what the holiday is all about.


My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. And I am convinced the reason why this is so is because I am from Paris. You know how everyone talks about their favorite holiday is Halloween or Christmas? If you meet someone who's favorite holiday is the 4th, chances are they are from Paris.

There is something really magical about the 4th of July there. The many summer home residents come to stay. The town seems more full; like back when Paris was in its prime. It is full of energy and you can feel it.

Fourth of July morning is like Christmas morning to me. Although I can never seem to drag myself out of bed to make it to the flag-raising ceremony like Christina, I get up early and go to the chuck wagon breakfast with my family. I love waiting in line to see my aunts and uncles cooking up a storm, and choosing the line where I would get their food.

When I was younger, I would come home and hop on my bike afterward and ride around the city, taking everything in. The smell of fireworks, people dressed in red and blue, the long line at the chuck wagon breakfast, the dew still fresh on the green grass. I loved riding in the shadow of the tabernacle, and enjoying the cool shade.

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A float from when we were younger with our cousins, that's Christina on the far right.

Every now and then, we were lucky enough to be in the parade, which was always so exciting. If we aren't in the parade, we are certainly on the sidelines enjoying it. Smoky the Bear is a highlight for us (we've had several family members work for the Forest Service) and we drag in loads and loads of taffy.

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Our great aunt (on the front left) with her husband. 

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The highlight of the day for me is always the family cookout complete with homemade raspberry ice cream and our fireworks show. While everyone is getting the food ready, the kids play wiffle ball or football. Everyone sits around chatting. Once dinner is over, we play games and light early fireworks while we wait for the sun to go down. When it's dark, the firework show begins.
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You know that scene in The Sandlot where they are running around the neighborhood and playing baseball underneath the fireworks? That is a serious nostalgia moment for me. That was my childhood on the 4th.

After our fireworks were over, we would go home and watch the fireworks on "M" hill from our house. Even though Montpelier is about 10 miles away, we could still see them, glimmering off in the distance.

The best part was going to bed at night under the stars, smelling of fireworks, smoke, and mosquito repellant. And knowing that we lived in one of the best places on earth.


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  1. Thank you ALL for you memories of Paris! I am going to miss it so much this year, but you have given me some fond memories to hold on to! Enjoy some homemade ice cream and family fun for me!
    Karen "Packham" Farnsworth

  2. Can't wait for the 4th. It is the best holiday around here. I am entering Colson in the rodeo this year. Hopefully Jared will be home from Colorado :)

  3. Traditions! There's something anchoring in them. Thanks for the post and God Bless America!