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What's Your Fourth of July Tradition? - Ladue News: Living

What's Your Fourth of July Tradition?

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Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012 8:51 am | Updated: 9:18 am, Thu Jun 21, 2012.

For many, the Fourth of July means grilling out with family and friends, watermelon and fireworks. But before the fireworks go off this year, catch a glimpse as to how other St. Louisans celebrate the birth of our nation.

Dennis Reagan

PRESIDENT & CEO, THE MUNY

I’m at The Muny! This year, two big events are on the calendar for the Fourth: It’s the first day of rehearsals for Dreamgirls, and it will be last day of rehearsal for our premiere production of Disney’s Aladdin. This will be the first time the cast of Dreamgirls is assembled, so I plan to mosey on over to the rehearsal space and greet and meet our star performer, Jennifer Holliday.

Later in the day, we will shift our attention to the sitzprobe for Aladdin. (Sitzprobe is a term used in musical theatre to describe a seated rehearsal, in which the cast sings with the orchestra for the first time.)

That evening, my wife, Michelle, will grill a celebratory barbecue feast with pork steaks and burgers (if she takes my menu suggestion) and all the trimmings: corn on the cob, pork and beans, garlic bread, and oh yeah, maybe something green like a salad. Our three grown children, John (married to Molly), Maggie and Amy, all live in St. Louis and are invited. We will watch fireworks from the backyard and catch the big show from Fair St. Louis on TV. Then early to bed, because after all, July 5 is the opening of Aladdin!

Tony Bommarito

MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LADUE

On the Fourth of July, I go church in the morning, and I say a little prayer and give thanks for the blessings I have received. I also pray for our country and for our city, as well.

It has always been a tradition of mine to go downtown and participate in the Veiled Prophet Parade and see a few people. The parade has long been a tradition of St. Louis, and I continue to include it in my day with my family. Of course, food is a big part of our day— which can be anything from barbecue ribs to ravioli (and wine)—and baseball is a part of it, as well. It’s really a day for relaxing and family—we keep it simple. And if I’m up late enough, I sit in my yard and watch the fireworks that the local country clubs shoot off.

Millie Cain

SENIOR PRIVATE MORTGAGE ADVISER, FIRST STATE BANK, PRIVATE MORTGAGE BANKING GROUP

I start the week before the Fourth of July by putting up flags on my house. With my red front door, red geraniums and our wonderful American flag, there’s no doubt that we are celebrating our nation’s birth at my house! Then, I start planning a barbecue with all the trimmings for friends and family. Part of that celebration is going to a fireworks display, either downtown or in a nearby municipality. I guess you could say it’s the simple things, along with dear friends and family, that make this holiday one of my favorites. And the food isn’t bad either!

Rick Dildine

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL ST. LOUIS

July 4th is one of my favorite celebrations of the year! It usually means friends, family, grilling and fireworks! The holiday was my favorite as a kid in small-town America when the annual fireworks show was such a big deal in our little town. I can still remember the American flag made entirely out of sparklers that they had each year.

Andy Dielmann

PRESIDENT DIELMANN SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

The morning of the Fourth of July, I participate in the Veiled Profit Parade in downtown St. Louis. I spend the afternoon around the pool with family and friends, and then later enjoy barbecue. That evening, I return to Fair Saint Louis to watch the fireworks.

David Diener

VP, WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISER THE PRIVATE CLIENT RESERVE OF U.S. BANK

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. There are four constants in my celebrations, which I call the Four Fs: family, friends, food and fireworks! As an only child, my mom and dad would always take me to the home of my five cousins, where my aunt and uncle would prepare the most delicious barbecue followed by us taking in the fireworks at a nearby school, and then sparklers and ice cream back at their house. As the years went on, the venues for celebration would change, but the Four Fs would always be a part of the equation.

For several years, as a member of the Noonday Club downtown, I would organize a party to watch the VP Fair festivities from the 40th floor of the Metropolitan Square Building. There was nothing more spectacular than seeing the fireworks explode at eye level! I now either celebrate with friends in Webster Groves or go to my cousin’s home at Innsbrook. No matter where I am, I am surrounded by those I love, and there’s always a bit of that childhood wonder when the sky lights up with spectacular fireworks honoring the birth of our great nation.

Linda Goldstein

MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CLAYTON

As I think back on all the Independence Days I’ve celebrated over the years, there’s one important common denominator: My happiest memories involve family get-togethers. As a child growing up in Chicago, I remember sitting in a comfy lawn chair surrounded by my sister, brother, parents and grandparents and watching the fabulous fireworks that we could see from our home. In recent years, my husband and I have spent the holiday barbecuing with our children and their families and then watching the fireworks. It’s fun to see my grandchildren’s excitement as they enjoy all the festivities, just like I did when I was their age. This important holiday commemorates the birth of our nation. What better way to spend it than with family?

Timothy O’Leary

GENERAL DIRECTOR OPERA THEATRE OF SAINT LOUIS

I am a sucker for the old-fashioned outdoor concert with fireworks and The Stars and Stripes Forever, a piece of music that will always remind me of my father. So I seek out fireworks with live music whenever possible. Since the Fourth comes right after the marathon of Opera Theatre’s six-week festival season, it is always a pleasure to lie in the grass, listening to a performance that I haven’t had to organize!

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