Come To Chrislip For An Old-Fashioned Fourth of July!
We won’t be having any this year. There isn’t enough money in the town treasury. Also, a state law bans pyrotechnics from any community that racks up fatalities in three consecutive calendar years. In Chrislip’s case, they’ve also decided that we probably shouldn’t have sparklers, squibs, zippy-zips, stringies, or those little ashy snake things that grow when you set fire to them.
But just because we can’t have fireworks doesn’t mean we can’t have other things as well. Such as the Greased Pole contest. This is a longstanding tradition that began among the German-American citizens of Chrislip during the 1940s. It’s also been cancelled this year. Apparently, the idea of chasing greased-up Polish people around a mud pen is considered demeaning in some quarters. The Town Council fought to keep the contest, but after careful consideration of several lawsuits filed, they agreed that it was offensive.
We can still have watermelon in the city park, but you’ll have to bring your own. And don’t spit the seeds into anything but an approved container. We can also have the Grass Roll, in which kids roll on the grass.
As always, the highlight will be a town barbecue. The local chapter of PETA has filed suit to ban meat from the barbecue, so it will be an all-vegetarian affair, and there will be no barbecuing allowed, as all that smoke futzes up the ozone layer. But if you’ve never sat on a hillside at twilight, chewing a stalk of celery, you’re in for a treat.
The Town Council also asks that no American flags be on display. This is a holiday that brings many tourists to our town, including some who are hostile to the ideals that America represents. We have to respect their feelings. There’s a time for showy displays of patriotism, and the Fourth of July isn’t it.
So if you want a good, old-fashioned Independence Day, come to Chrislip, Michigan. Then check into the Dew-Drop Motel and watch the Boston Pops Concert on PBS.