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THE FOURTH OF JULY

Fireworks, flags at Bratislava castle

INDEPENDENCE Day is a favourite summer holiday in the United States. Celebrations often begin in the morning of July 4 with a neighbourhood parade. Families line the curbs with folding chairs and coolers. High school marching bands, beauty queens, clowns, classic cars, and riders on horseback are all standard participants. Kids decorate the handlebars of their bicycles with crepe paper streamers and weave coloured paper through the wheel spokes.

THE CASTLE grounds turn into an American backyard on July 4.
photo: Courtesy of AmCham

INDEPENDENCE Day is a favourite summer holiday in the United States. Celebrations often begin in the morning of July 4 with a neighbourhood parade. Families line the curbs with folding chairs and coolers. High school marching bands, beauty queens, clowns, classic cars, and riders on horseback are all standard participants. Kids decorate the handlebars of their bicycles with crepe paper streamers and weave coloured paper through the wheel spokes.

Afternoons are a time for back yard grills, hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and watermelon. As dusk falls everyone gathers at the high school stadium or some other vantage point for fireworks. It is a celebration that sees Americans at their best: friendly, playful and creative.

The American Chamber of Commerce's (AmCham) annual Independence Day Celebration recreates this atmosphere with remarkable authenticity. Homesick expats will be astounded as the atmosphere of stately Bratislava castle is transformed on Saturday, July 2. Beginning at 17:00, the fireworks will commence at dusk, but the celebration will continue past midnight.

An estimated 700 people are expected to take part this year in the traditional American picnic. AmCham has arranged a marvellous parade, children's activities, entertainment and, of course, fireworks.

Tickets are available in advance at the AmCham office, fifth floor, Hotel Danube (Sk400 for adults, Sk100 for children), or at the castle gate for Sk600. For more information, visit www.amcham.sk or call 02/5464-0534.

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