You love Seaside, Oregon. In fact, one of the things that you love best about living in Portland is that Seaside is only about an hour and fifteen minutes’ drive through a gorgeous, forested mountain pass.
You also love the Fourth of July. You could pretend that it’s out of patriotism and love for this great nation. But who are you kidding? While you are certainly proud to be an American (cue music… now.), your love of fire and explosions supersedes any patriotism. And there is no better place to blow stuff up the on the pristine beach that comprises Seaside.
Seaside on the Fourth of July, you will find a tremendous hustle and bustle of crowds mixed in with the music of scattered explosions throughout the day. Walking on the beach, it’s a mini hail storm of mortars, missiles, grenades, and light shows. It’s surely what our Founding Fathers’ experienced two centuries ago while fighting for freedom against a tyrannical regime an ocean away. The big difference here, of course, is that your risk of death is minimal and there is typically a cold beverage in one hand.
Mixed in with the explosions, musicians flood the streets playing big band jazz, blues, rock n roll, country, and hip hop. The Candy Man peddles his saccharine wares with his familiar tube outside the Be Bop café. Free samples for all, ain’t America grand?
And burgers taste even better on the fourth. Ditto beer. Be Bop Café, a fifties themed diner, or the Big Kahuna Café, have both, along with patriotic and nostalgic music. But before that, take a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl (or, as my wife likes to call it, Puke and Hurl), and, for dessert, grab an elephant ear before running across the street and reliving your childhood in an arcade the size of a city block.
All this nostalgia is great, but don’t linger too long. You’ll want to grab a prime seat on the beach for the main event. Making your way back, passed the carcasses of exploded fireworks, there’s a great spot on the grassy dune. Higher than everyone else, here, you won’t have to crane your neck to see the exploding stars and stripes. “Ooooh” and “Awwww” as the darkened sky is illuminated by the brilliance of fireworks reminding us, once again, of the sacrifice our Founding Fathers made to birth this nation and secure our freedoms. There is no holiday quite like the controlled anarchy of the Independence Day… and no better way to celebrate it than at the scenic Oregon Coast in Seaside, Oregon.
Drive safely, play safely, and God bless America.