Ferocious Competition: A Fourth of July Tradition

Once a year, we rise early in the morning, head to the center of town, cover our faces with war paint, and engage in ferocious combat with our neighbors. If all goes well, we’ll finish the day soaking wet and reasonably successful at blowing the blueberries out of our noses.

Welcome to Scituate’s annual Fourth of July Old Home Days, an old fashioned holiday celebration that features games, a teddy bear decorating contest, hug-a-bunny, pony rides, face painting, crafts, pie eating contests, fire trucks and more.

Attending this celebration has been a tradition in our family since we moved to Scituate, RI in 2001. The first year, we didn’t know about the teddy bear decorating contest, but by the next year, we were ready. Our bears were outfitted in the best red, white, and blue doll-sized costumes that Wal-Mart had to offer. All three of my kids earned blue ribbons in their bear’s category. We would accept nothing less.

Bear contest

One year, I almost won the adult musical chairs competition, and I proudly sported the resulting bruises on my arms and legs. These were war wounds, and I was a warrior. I am fully aware that the term “almost won” means “lost,” but as my hyper competitive personality will not allow me to admit defeat, I’m just going to have to stick with “almost won.”

Adult musical chairs

My kids have entered (and even won a few) water balloon tosses, hula hoop contests, checkers tournaments, and limbo lines, but victory in the pie eating contest eludes us all. It’s possible that I may have influenced my children with my hyper competitive nature, because there was one year when I think Nick nearly choked on his blueberry pie rather than accept second place, but he did not perish in combat, and so that yellow ribbon is just as much a thing to celebrate as a blue ribbon would have been.

Ben pie eating contest

At the end of the festivities, the hot and sweaty combatants, I mean, community members, are usually free to frolic about in their bathing suits under a cool shower at the end of a fire hose, thanks to the North Scituate Fire Department, although tomorrow it may be Hurricane Arthur that cools everyone down.

Tomorrow’s festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of the First Church and Community House. I hope to see you there, though maybe you shouldn’t challenge me to a game of checkers. Someone may get hurt.



Author: kristinrusso

Writer, teacher, insatiable reader

2 thoughts on “Ferocious Competition: A Fourth of July Tradition”

  1. Adult musical chairs? I pretty sure that would do me in. I’m competitive, too, and the anxiety of waiting for the music to stop is just too much. Congratulations on your almost win!


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