How the Market Common Celebrates our Country’s Independence
by Melissa LaScaleia
Independence Day is the quintessential American holiday marked by outdoor relaxation, barbecues, picnics, fireworks, and fun.
This is the time to celebrate our country’s birth and the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans, with family and friends.
This July, we share the personal reflections of a few of our local residents who give us their take on being American and how they enjoy celebrating our country’s independence. Below are some of their stories.
Who: Dale and Paula Staley
Lives: Sweetgrass Square North
How long: One-and-a-half years.
How they celebrate the Fourth: With cookouts. Typically a family member or two will come for a visit to celebrate together. They go to the Myrtle Beach State Park beach and watch the military planes fly along the coastline.
July 4th tradition: “Even before we lived here, we took family vacations here,” Paula says. “We had a double-sized air mattress that we took to the beach and put kids and 5 or 6 adults on, and we’d ride the waves on it. We used to squish it in elevators and take it all over the place— we had more fun with that raft. And we all had our own pirate names. Now our nieces and nephews are grown, but they want to do it all again.”
What makes July 4th special for them: Celebrating it with family, friends, and neighbors. For them, it’s a family holiday. They love the patriotic music and always find the fireworks at the end.
Dale adds, “I’m proud to be an American. This holiday makes me think of America and how blessed we are to live here.”
What they like most about this holiday: Dale says, “I like that it celebrates America and our independence. If you’re an American, this is your day. We have a lot to be grateful for to our military and we thank them. People don’t realize what it could be like.”
Paula says, “Both our dads were in World War II, and we’re really appreciative of what they did. Dale’s dad was a marine. We like to teach our nieces and nephews about history and the World Wars, explain to them what it could have been like.”
In a nutshell? The Staley’s love cookouts, watermelon, the family raft, and the military.
Aaron Maynard owns Pedego Electric Bikes on DeVille Street, and is also a Market Common resident.
Aaron’s patriotic enthusiasm is catchy— after hanging an American flag on his own house, he thought it would be fun to bedeck his neighbor’s as well. He offered to hang one for them, and soon it became a neighborhood trend. (Read “Old Glory Graces the Streets of the Market Common.”)
We caught up with the military veteran for an update on his flag hanging, as well as to see what patriotic thoughts he has for us this July 4th.
About hanging the American flag: “I’ve put up probably 100 of them in Sweetgrass West, and even homes that I haven’t done, people have done it themselves. They’re everywhere. It’s really cool.”
About celebrating the 4th: The Fourth of July is my dad’s birthday. My dad is a naturalized citizen, he was born in Trinidad. It’s always a little special to celebrate that and then Independence Day at the same time.
About what he likes most about this holiday: Spending time with friends and family, watching the fireworks display and everything else that comes along with it, like cookouts, barbecues, and the lake.
About his most memorable July 4th: When I lived in London, the U.S. ambassador to the UK threw a huge party at his residence, which is the second largest house after Buckingham palace. It was a party for embassy personnel. It was interesting to celebrate such an important American holiday overseas, and being in the foreign environment made me appreciate being American even more. I was able to reflect on how lucky we really are.
About what Independence Day means to him as a veteran: We really are the luckiest people on the planet to live in such a free and independent country where we can express ourselves. If you haven’t been to other countries and seen how the people there don’t have those freedoms, I think it’s easy to take it for granted. But if they truly saw, they’d realize how really, really lucky we are.
About Pedego Electric Bikes on the 4th? They’re open.
Who: Christine Yilmaz
Hails from: Annapolis, Maryland
Lives: In the Highlands at Withers Preserve.
In the Market Common: For 3 years.
Celebrates the 4th: With her husband, five-year-old daughter, and grandmother. Sometimes aunts, uncles and extended family come down for a visit and a camping trip.
How: They grill in their nice backyard, have a barbecue picnic, and watch the fireworks.
Likes most about this holiday: Celebrating our freedom.
What makes it special to you? “Getting to spend time with my family and watching my daughter who is so happy about the fireworks,” says Christine. “She looks forward to any holiday with fireworks. We like to enjoy the festivities, and to spend time with friends and family.”
Most memorable Fourth of July? “I grew up in Maryland, and one year we went to the harbor and watched the fireworks from a restaurant,” she says. “It was so pretty.”
Who: Felicia Luibl
History: She was born in Scotland, to a Scottish father and a Polish mother, and was four years old when she moved to the States. She grew up in Washington, D.C., where she remembers always watching fireworks on July 4th. Felicia lived there her entire life until moving here two years ago. Because she and her parents were European born, she wasn’t raised with strong traditions around July 4th.
Lives: With her husband in Sweetgrass.
Celebrates the 4th: “Now that we’ve moved here, my husband and I (and usually at least one of our sons is visiting), like to go over by the Crown Reef area with our beach chairs and watch the fireworks on the beach,” she says. “There’s something very magical for me about that.”
During the day, they enjoy staying in the Market Common and spending the day at the pool.
Favorite July 4th tradition: “As a child in D.C., we could walk over to Bowling Air Force Base,” she says. “There’s a big hill there we would sit on and you could see a lot of D.C.
Most memorable Fourth of July: One year, we were able to go to the rooftop of one of the buildings and we had such a great view. That was really memorable.
About celebrating in Myrtle Beach: “I lived in Washington DC, where the fireworks were amazing,” she says. “But I prefer the ones here on the beach because it’s so much more relaxing and less stressful. It’s such a contrast. Living here, in the Market Common, they are just a mile down the road.”
Diversity makes our world go round and our Grand Strand community the unique and beautiful place that it is. Thank you for being a part of it. Have a blessed Independence Day, from all of us at the Insider.