Well, I mean there's still the BBQ and swimming and fireworks so I guess it's not ALL that different...but the parade is probably not what you'd expect. If you came to our parade, lawn chair under bum/umbrella over head, you would probably be surprised to see a water battle instead of the typical celebratory caravan of "floats" (floats in this case meaning decorated pick up trucks, tractors, and horses - you know, because that's how we do it in the country haha).
You might wonder why every child in the crowd has a squirt gun in hand and a five gallon bucket of water nearby. Your answer would come with the sound of screams in the distance as you notice that the first "float" was actually a firetruck showering any particularly rambunctious onlookers as it passed.
As each float passes, the children hold their fire and check for a "No Water" tag found on fancy cars, pageant girls, and horses. When the coast is clear they unleash their watery fury, which is usually returned by the people on the floats. Since the people on the floats can't really run - they end up completely soaked and the crowd wins. This was my first time witnessing this, and I am hooked! Every Independence Day should be kicked off with a parade like this, in my opinion!
Other snapshots of the morning:
"Dance if you wanna be sprayed with water!" - Uncle Mike
Lilly sat on my lap through part of it and we would hide from the water behind my big hat. I thought it was so cute how she would stick her arm out from behind the hat and wave her flag furiously!
Afterwards we got all cleaned up, napped up, and ready to go to grandma and grandpa's house for dinner...followed by an illicit firework show that we had nothing to do with.
Basically, it was your typical American fourth of July celebration and I loved every minute.