Hello and welcome to July! We made it to July. It is going to be a strange Summer. With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, it brings me back to my childhood. This is my favorite holiday. As a kid, living in a city just outside Boston, all the neighborhoods had parks for recreation and sports. Linden Park was just across the street from our home, we could see it from our kitchen window.
Keeping 5 kids entertained was not easy, but we were busy year round. The park was where we went Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall. There was always something going on.
In the Winter, they flooded the large field (about 4 acres) and made an ice skating rink for everyone to enjoy. In the Summer, there were youth counselors during the week, so all the neighborhood kids hung out there all day every day, hundreds of us. We went on field trips to Canobie Lake and Salem Willows. We made potholders on hot days. We played baseball and kickball, and swung on the swings, hung out with our friends, and just enjoyed being in the outdoors.
There were drum and bugle group practices for the 27th Lancers, who were world champions, and it was a real treat to watch and listen to them. There were celebrity softball games with local sports heroes.
The 4th of July was a big celebration in my hometown and at all the parks in the greater Boston area. Linden Park would open early morning. We’d have baby carriage decorating contests, bike decorating contests, pie eating contests (Table Talk full-size pies), Little Miss Linden and Mr. Linden beauty contests, women’s rolling pin toss, wife carrying contest, potato sack races, bands, music and dancing.
The parents in our section of town would sell tickets to raise funds for this, every single year, my mother included. Our tickets got us a Hoodsie (if you don’t know what that is, just ask me), tonic, candy and a small toy. It was like Christmas, only better! Everyone invited family and friends to their homes for a barbeque. Everyone celebrated, no matter where you looked. It was magnificient!
Nowadays I try to go to a parade, barbeque and attend a fireworks display on the 4th of July. It’s my tradition. What do you all do to celebrate our country’s independence day?
Sporting Events Making a Comeback
Sports were a big part of my childhood, and continue to be to this day. There’s nothing better than attending a Red Sox game when the Yankees are in town. Or watching the Summer and Winter Olympics.
The Fall ushers in football season, which is a favorite of mine. Other sports are exploring options to continue play schedules which were cut short or have been delayed. As restrictions are being lifted, postponed events are being rescheduled for this Fall and 2021. I believe this is a great sign of things to come. Here are a few sporting events that may be of interest to you:
Kentucky Derby - September 5, 2020 - Louisville, Kentucky
America’s Greatest Race. Churchill Downs, the world's most legendary racetrack, has conducted thoroughbred racing and presented America's greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Truly an experience of a lifetime. The Race of Roses, also referred to as the “Run for the Roses,” gets its name because of the very special (and very beautiful) prize that is commonly given out to the winner. A gorgeous blanket of 564 red roses is given to the winner of the Kentucky Derby at the end of each race.
Masters Golf Tournament – November 9-15, 2020, Augusta GA
Since 1934, the Masters Tournament has been home to some of golf’s greatest moments. Amidst blooming azaleas, towering pines and flowering dogwoods, the first full week of April (except for 2020) ushers in a stage unique to golf and to sport. Over four days and 72 holes, the smallest field in major championship golf competes for a chance to capture the Green Jacket and a place in Masters history.
Wimbledon Tennis Championships – June 28 – July 11, 2021, London, England
For many, Summer begins when Wimbledon does. Each year, the top players in the sport converge in London for the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. This famous contest has taken place at London’s All England Lawn Tennis Club since 1877. Played on the club’s iconic grass courts, it is one of tennis’ four grand slam tournaments, along with the Australian Open, French Open, and U.S. Open.
Roger Federer has won the most mens’ singles titles with eight, while Martina Navratilova holds the ladies’ record with nine. After the 2020 Wimbledon Championships were canceled, the anticipation for the next edition of this beloved tournament is higher than ever.
Olympic Summer Games – July 23 – August 8, 2021, Tokyo, Japan
All the excitement surrounding the Summer Games has shifted to Tokyo and 2021 can’t come soon enough.
While most will enjoy the Summer Games from their televisions, those in attendance in the 2021 Summer Games Tokyo venues will experience something extraordinary.
They’ll watch history in the making while experiencing that electric atmosphere that seems to exist only at the Games.
Tokyo is sure to make a wonderful host city and will also have the honor of introducing 5 new sports to the Summer Games: sport climbing, karate, skateboarding, surfing, and the return of baseball/softball. If there’s one sporting event that should be on your bucket list, it’s this one.