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Saturday, July 7, 2012

4th of July in Downtown Asheville!

Our Family's Fourth of July Fun!!!
The words with a * after them have more information about that place to item at the bottom of this blog.

Brooklynd and Ciara chasing Pigeons!
This Fourth of July, my family and I decided that we were going to Downtown Asheville* for the Ingles Fourth of July Celebration in Pack Square*. We got downtown alittle after 4:30pm (the festivities started at 4pm) It took us FOREVER to find a parking spot! That's the thing about downtown Asheville*, they don't have very many places to park and the spaces that are available cost! I'm a country girl, born and raised in Candler, which is right outside Asheville*, I'm use to parking lots that are free to park in. Not parking lots that have a guy sitting at the entrance asking for my money to park in one of the spots!! I'm also not a fan of putting money in one of those little meters and having to run back to your car every hour or so to add more money if you aren't done shopping/walking around. So we ended up parking in the Bank of America parking lot because I saw a sign that said "FREE parking for Bank of America Consumers Only!" Well the bank may not of been open at the time but Yes, we are Bank of America consumers and if anyone would of said anything to us we were planning on swiping out out bank cards and showing them the sign :0) The Celebration Grounds* were alittle over a mile from where we parked so we had to walk a bit. The kids didn't seem to mind. My daughters started chasing Pigeons!! The pigeons would just walk the streets and not budge when you walked past unless you were just a bit to close or coming after them lol! Brooklynd kept chasing them, she wanted to catch her a bird! She told me that she was going to safe it! I truly have no idea what that pigeon would of needed saving from except from her and her sister!! :0)

My girls with their butterfly wings, Aj was still waiting on his dog.

The balloon guy making Aj's balloon.
Once we got closer to Pack Square*, we saw this guy who had a flower balloon on his bead and a apron full of balloons around his waist! He was making balloon animals and such for tips. Brooklynd, Ciara and Aj HAD to have a balloon so we stopped. The girls ended up with Butterfly wings while Aj got a dog on a leash. Then off to the festivities we went! The first thing the kids seen was a big blow up slide! Before the kids could get on the slide we had to sign a weaver and get them a bracelet, so we did.. Easy Peasy! They all went on the slide (my youngest got scared and climbed back down the latter but the other 2 had fun) I was a bit upset to find out that Splashville* was closed :0( They had live music set up on the new walkway/stage they recently built in front of the court house, so the sound guy and all his buttons and such, were set up st the back of Splashville, where all the water should of been coming up. It ended up being a dance stage for all the kids to play and dance to the music on. These 3 young girls, I'd say they were between the ages of 8 to 10, came out onto Splashville platform with hula-hoops. And next thing I know they are hula-hooping to the music! I have to say, that I think of myself as a pretty good hula-hooper even though I'm 24 :0) But these girls had me beat by a long shot! They were swirling the hoop on their arms, head, legs, ect all while not missing a beat... unless one of the other kids ran into their hoop.... that seemed to happen often but the girls never seemed to get aggravated when their hula-hoop got hit and knocked to the ground. They hula hooped for a while, every now and then one of the girls would go sit down and then a few minutes later she would be back out there. My daughters wanted a hula hoop so they could hula-hoop dance with them :0) It was an awesome unexpected show to watch! We LOVED it! I got some of it on video and took alot of pictures!!

A guy from the music station Star 104.3 was there also. He was the one who announced the bands and done all the talking for the games that were set up every so often for the kids. One of the games was where the kids lined up in 4 lines. There were 4 buckets full of water and had a big sponge in each one. Further down the road were 4 more buckets that were empty with a fill line marked inside them. The point of the game was for each kid, one by one, to fill their sponge with water and run it to their empty bucket, squeeze out their water, then run back to their line and hand off the sponge to the next kid to do the same. The first team to get their bucket to the fill line wins! They also played that same game but with the kids stretched out between the buckets and passed the sponge down the line to the water bucket to get wet and back to the empty bucket to get squeezed out. Another game was with bouncy balls. Each team had 36 balls in a big bowl. One by one the kids would run to the other side of the game area and put their ball into the top of a orange traffic cone! That game took a while before it was over but the kids enjoyed it. They had prizes that were given out to the kids after all the games were over. They were suppose to be to only the winners but all the kids just ram-shacked the girls with the prize bowls and got a prize whither they won or not :0)
They also had craft tables sets up along with face painting. The girls doing the face painting were not the best artists but the kids didn't mind. Once we started walking around, we noticed that since Splashville was closed, alot of the kids were playing in all the random fountains that Asheville has placed around and about downtown. So of course my kids run straight for one and starts playing. It wasn't long before someone walked over and told me to get my kids out of the fountain so we just moved on to the next one :0) I mean , COME ON!! It's 90 something degrees outside and everyone was expecting Splashville to be on, so most of the kids were in their bathing suits anyways! After a bit of water fun we walked back down to the grassy area near the stage and Splashville and sat down and enjoyed the music. Me and my girls got up and danced in front of the stage and on the water platform a few times! We had a BLAST!

The fireworks started alittle after 9:30pm. They were being shot off on the top of a parking deck not to far away. There was only one small tree in our way but the fireworks went up so far in the sky that it only barley blocked a few of the fireworks. I video-taped the whole show but I haven't had a chance to put it on my computer yet, when I do I will be sure to post it :0) After the fireworks, we started the walk back to the car. By that time it was almost 10pm and all 3 kids were sleepy and ready to go home. Ciara, my youngest, did not want to walk to the car but both her daddy and my hands were full so she had to walk anyways which didn't make her to happy but we made it back to our car to find it still sitting in the same spot :0)  No flashing of bank cards needed :0) haha After a long day in downtown, I was happy to be at home. I have to say that 2012 is the best 4th of July we have had yet as a family!! I'm so happy that we decided to go Downtown and spend the day! And to top it off..... we didn't even spend $10 the whole day and had the time of our life's!!!!! We are defiantly planning to return to downtown next year for the 4th of July Celebration once again. We couldn't of made a better choice!!! (Of course we will return way before that for all the fun bars/clubs, diners, shopping and much much more!!!!)
Our 4th of July fun in downtown Asheville!!
*Asheville ~ A city in Western North Carolina known for the Biltmore Estate and called Beer City of America. 
*Pack Square ~ Pack Square Park, Downtown Asheville Downtown Asheville's historic Pack Square has transformed into a beautiful public park with 6.5 acres of public space for visitors to relax and linger. In addition to the Roger McGuire Green in front of City Hall and the County Building, the new park has a large open green space on a slope overlooking the main stage, three water features and original, large-scale art by regional artists. There are many seating areas surrounded by native trees and shrubs. A granite Veterans’ Memorial stands near the courthouse at the northeast corner of the park.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about our 4th of July and we hope that your holiday was as wonderful as ours!!
All pictures were took by me and belong to me, Autumn B of *Thru My Eyes Photography*

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