Some advice for celebrating the Fourth of July: Soak it all in and enjoy it.

Don’t get caught up in politics. Many will have opinions about the goings-on in Washington, D.C., today, but more important is what’s happening in your home and in your community.

In Grand Forks, the annual Sertoma fireworks show will begin after 10 p.m. near South Middle School. The location is notable, since the event usually is held on the Greenway near downtown Grand Forks. But with construction underway on DeMers Avenue, a change in venue is in order.

Also today is the Sertoma children’s parade, which begins at 11:45 a.m. The location of this event, too, has been changed because of downtown construction. Participants will begin lining up at 11 a.m. on the north side of South Middle School in Grand Forks.

Our favorite is the children’s parade – pure Americana at its best. But even those who choose not to participate still should grill a burger, relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

And don’t forget to watch coverage of Fourth of July events taking place in Washington, D.C.

President Trump’s “Salute to America” is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time (5:30 p.m. Central) and likely will include military band performances, fireworks and a speech. It also is expected to include a military flyover, with aircraft representing the Navy (F-18s and F-35Cs), the Army (Apache helicopters), the Air Force (B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters) and the Coast Guard (H-60 and H-65 helicopters and at least one plane), according to CBS News. Also expected in the flyover are Marine One, Air Force One and the Blue Angels.

Alas, the event is mired in political controversy as critics accuse the president of creating the event to honor himself instead of America. It was the political talk of the week, since the president plans to speak in front of the Lincoln Memorial, rather than keeping the event nonpartisan.

We prefer the president would not offer VIP tickets to Republican donors. Doing so isn’t right.

To some, cost is an issue, though military leaders say the flyovers essentially are training flights and will come with no extra cost to taxpayers. Air Force One’s presence shouldn’t matter – if the president chose to fly somewhere else for the holiday, the cost likely would be higher. And nobody seems to complain much about military flyovers at ballgames and other events over the years.

The event’s location in the Eastern Time Zone should mean that the most energetic of Greater Grand Forks residents can see the Sertoma children’s parade in the morning, spend time with family during the day, grill burgers for supper, watch coverage of the Washington event and then enjoy the Sertoma fireworks show after sundown.

What a day it could be, if people choose to participate in their own way and – more importantly – put politics aside for just one patriotic day.