Red, white and blue were the colors of the day as throngs of festive celebrants lined the streets to watch the 11th annual Independence Day parade wind its way through downtown Ann Arbor.
“It was nice to see the whole community come together and hang out down on campus,” said LSA sophomore Brad Kline, who attended the parade between work shifts.
In addition to parade-going and relaxing, many students took advantage of the day off to get together with friends and barbeque on the most popular date for grilling of the year.
Katie Flaherty, a senior in the School of Education, did what she does every year for the 4th of July attended a family barbecue at her aunt”s house and lit fireworks.
Her only complaint was that “it was in the middle of the week and I had to come back and make class at 9 a.m.” the next morning.
LSA junior Andy Guzowski would have also liked to make it a longer weekend, but after a full day of golf, barbeque and fireworks in Trenton, he had to come back to work Thursday. Guzowski, who barbeques nearly every 4th of July with family or friends, said he thinks barbequing on Independence Day is a pretty standard thing.
Some students said that while they enjoyed their day, they missed seeing fireworks, as the City of Ann Arbor doesn”t put on a show.
“I like fireworks,” said Lymari Lopez-Diaz, a graduate student at Rackham.
She said she would have liked to go but didn”t have a way to get to any of the cities that put on shows. She did, however, go for a picnic with a couple friends and said she enjoyed celebrating the 4th of July. She added that she doesn”t normally celebrate Independance Day since she is from Puerto Rico.
Some students had an untraditional holiday.
Julie Tremper spent her day barbequing and learning to waterski with her cousin and some of his friends. Tremper, who is from Colorado but is studying at the University”s Summer Language Institute, had never been waterskiing before and said she had a lot of fun learning.
As many of his fellow students held picnics and barbeques and basked in the sun, LSA junior Travis Lower chose to celebrate the holiday in a more untraditional manner.
Lower spent his day off school to watch his father, a jazz pianist, perform in Muskegon.
Playing with him was none other than Ray Charles.