Your Summer Americana

Your Summer Americana
For Independence Day this summer, what favorite 4th of July tradition would you choose?

“Americana” is a broad term of art often tied to aspects of American culture and history, and sometimes deeply nostalgic and reflective of the associations we make to the times of our lives. Reflecting on the many ways people enjoy celebrating the Independence Day holiday, we began to imagine what an ideal “Summer Americana” might look like.

A wide variety of sentiments and associations resonated with each of us as we listed what came to mind when hearing the words, “Summer Americana.” And while each idea fell neatly into one or more universal summer themes, paring down the list to reflect a single ideal vision of a Summer Americana was impossible. Each person’s vision was highly personal, sentimental, and reflective of their own life experiences.

But we had to start somewhere and because the July 4th holiday set this blog in motion, it seemed fitting to start by sharing the list of fireworks that we thought fit within our collective notions of an ideal Summer Americana:

Fireworks

Summer Americana means kids playing with sparklers at night

  • Sparklers
  • Firecrackers
  • Caps, snaps, or poppers
  • Black Snakes
  • Fountains
  • Zodiacs
  • Roman candles
  • Bottle rockets
  • Strobes
  • Whistlers
  • Duds (no fireworks display is complete without the occasional dud)

Summer fun

A Summer Americana would not be complete without mentioning these quintessential summertime activities:

  • Bike riding
  • Camping
  • Vintage camping trailers (airstream, teardrop, pop-up, canned ham)
  • summer americana barbecuesBeach trips
  • Pool parties
  • Day trips
  • Water sprinkler fun
  • Street fairs
  • Sidewalk sales
  • Baseball games
  • Parades
  • Barbecues and cookouts
  • Classic car shows
  • Summer vacations

Architecture

old-fashioned barn reflects idea of summer americana

Here are a few favorites that resonated, architecturally speaking:

  • Barber shops
  • Old barns
  • Ice cream shops
  • Diners
  • Drive-in movie theaters
  • Tree-lined neighborhoods

Art and History

These artists and historical concepts all felt symbolic to the idea of a Summer Americana:

  • Norman Rockwell
  • Georgia O’Keefe
  • Rock n roll
  • Summer Americana means young baseball team holding American flagsElvis
  • The Beach Boys
  • The American Dream
  • Mid-20th century life
  • Little League
  • Going to the movies
  • Blockbusters
  • The American flag
  • The space race
  • Suburban life
  • Sidewalk chalk art
  • Antique and vintage signs

Foods

No list can be complete without including a favorite American pastime — sharing food with friends and family. Culturally, Americans enjoy a wide variety of foods, but these were some of our most universal Summer Americana choices:

  • All-American Hotdog is perfect for a summer americanaWatermelon
  • Ice cream cones
  • Fourth of July Apple pie
  • Hot dogs
  • Cheeseburger and fries
  • Milkshakes
  • Potato salad
  • Baked beans
  • Cherry pie
  • Soda pop
  • S’mores

What comes to mind when you think about your ideal Summer Americana? What images, traditions, or events spark your imagination? We are betting that each of you would have many more ideas to add to these lists when you think about what an ideal Summer Americana looks and feels like to you…

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