Category Archives: 4th of July

And where were you for the Fourth?

Thousands gathered at a picturesque Lake Baldwin for a classic Independence Day complete with a patriotic dog contest, apple pie bake-off, watermelon eating/seed spitting contest and grand firework display!

There was a steady crowd of babies, kids, adults, teens, and dogs (patriotic ones, to be exact) enjoying all of the festivities. Sponsor booths lined up along New Broad street and restaurants came out to serve their own specialities. Seito Sushi served crispy ahi tuna cones that had a melt-in-your-mouth flavor bottomed off with crunchy cone. Paddy Murphy’s, Lago, Jack’s Steakhouse, and Colibri served classics like hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled-pork sandwiches, and tacos. 
The hosts made sure to have all of the July 4th classics: watermelon for eating/seed spitting and a homemade apple pie contest.  There was also a beer garden and bounce house. The Baldwin Park Rotary Club made sure to have something to keep everyone smiling!
Everyone enjoyed the non-stop activities and danced the evening away to the fantastic live music. Upon sunset, guests spread a blanket and settled along the shore of Lake Baldwin.  There was a little surprise when a quick rainstorm passed through, but nothing that huddling under umbrellas couldn’t fix. Everyone stayed put and just like it was planned, the rain cleared up to welcome the beautiful, grand, and fabulous firework display!
The highly anticipated bash exceeded all expectations. Congratulations to the Baldwin Park Rotary Club for a successful event! We all look forward to next year!
This post was written by Guest Blogger Extraordinaire Ann Ngo, Development Manager of the American Lung Association in Florida, Central Region, whose offices are located in Baldwin Park. She can be found on Twitter at @annngo.

And where did you spend the Fourth? Share your experience in the comments!

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Filed under 4th of July, family, Fun, Guest Blogger Extraordinaire

Video from Red, Hot & Boom!

It’s featured on the vopod on the right —————->
We the Kings as well as the fireworks and immense crowds are featured. (150,000+ estimated attendance.)
Check it out!

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Filed under 4th of July

Best Event of 2009!

First of all, Happy birthday, America! I celebrated your big day last night (on the 3rd) at Red, Hot, & Boom. If you were able to follow me on Twitter, you would have read that I had VIP tickets to the Embassy Suites tent sponsored by Omaha Steaks. There, I enjoyed a sumptuous feat of lamb, seafood pasta, a variety of salads and desserts. I ate at a table with Altamonte Springs mayor Pat Bates before we moved out to the masses. (I can’t wait to see the final estimate of how many people were squeezed into the narrow area known as Cranes Roost…wow!)

We got there just as Matt Nathanson came on stage, and unfortunately while our tent had closed circuit TV of the stage, it had very poor sound. So, while he looked like he was giving a good show, I actually have no idea.  By the time we got out, my son and friend had gone toward the stage to see Kevin Rudolf. Their review of him? “Awesome!” 

Then came the band I wanted to see: We the Kings. The stage, being set in the middle of the lake as it is, makes it difficult to see anyone too well but I think lead inger Travis Clark did a good job projecting and communicating to his distant audience. They did a fabulous rendition of Jimmy Eats World’s “It Just Takes Some Time” before ending with “Check Yes Juliet.”  Now it was my turn to review them: “Awesome!”

And on to the main attraction of the fireworks. Altamonte Springs does a nice job of “Disney-like” audio to accompany the fireworks. They had a mix ranging from Prine’s “Purple Rain” to Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.” My personal favorite was the “Jaws theme song” going into Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” where fireworks literally launched from the water itself. Very cool effect!  (And, thanks to Guitar Hero, my son’s generation actually recognizes these songs!)

The only drawback? Too many people in too small a space!  How many sardines can you pack in one can? (Still waiting to hear the final estimate from City of Altamonte Springs.)   The hours-long traffic created a parking lot all through the Altamonte Mall, Cranes Roost, 436, and surrounding neighborhoods. After waiting 45 minutes on the top of a parking garage and not seeing one car move, we parked it and walked about a mile to where we had somebody pick us up. We made it home only to then receive a phone call from friends we left on top of the parking garage–they hadn’t moved yet!  Ugh!  Still, I’ll probably do it again next year. 🙂

Now, just twelve hours later, the EVENT OF THE YEAR is starting! Okay, so this isn’t in Central Florida, but in my book, it still counts because I am watching here in Central Florida: The Tour de France.  I have watched the Tour since the early 90’s while in college at the University of Florida. My husband and I would meet friends at the Copper Monkey and watch it there. (It was one of the few bars that had satellite TV.)  We spend each afternoon for nearly a month watching each stage. (At that time, Lance seemed like a nobody and dropped out more than one.) Later on, I listened to the Tour on the internet, buffering and streaming it live while calling in updates to my husband at work.

Now, we watch it live on VS Channel(102 on Brighthouse)…coverage is in the morning and takes a while because they ride for like 4 hours each stage, but with the commentary of Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin (and their English accents) it’s fun to pretend you’re in Europe watching it. (Oh, and Bob Roll is a major dweeb! His goofy commentary reminds me I still back here in the States!)

Now, why is this Tour my event of the year? Simple–Lance Armstrong is returning to ride! And, what makes it even more impressive, he is doing it as a volunteer. He is waiving the normal salary of a rider (which can be in the millions)  and is content to ride to spread the message about Livestrong. Simply amazing! 

Please visit his foundation to find out more and support his cause!

And, follow Lance on Twitter…pretty cool! 

Okay, the time trial are starting, so I’m cutting myself off…enjoy your fourth of July! And, viva le Lance!

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Filed under 4th of July, Out of Orlando, Uncategorized