West Long Branch:Parking your car and walking to Franklin Lake was its usual stroll to the annual Independence Day celebration. Walkers from the borough as well as many from towns nearby. Two families from Middletown, another from Red Bank were there WOTS learned while chatting with early arrivers as ice cream and hot dog trucks were busy helping snack seekers.
On stage the shore song team, West End Dogs, a rock-country group was inviting sing-a-long help from the blanket seated audience. Among their two dozen music pieces were classics such as "Sweet Caroline", "Johnny Be Good".
As the night moved in they sang Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA". They lingered just a bit on the last lines, 'Where at least I know I'm free...", and the crescendo of "God Bless the USA".
Security was excellent with emergency people on hand, and the line of red, white and blue flags that steamed along the road to the park
Neighbors who live along the lake drive brought out their chairs and treats, joining the several hundred enjoying the park lawn.
The fifteen minute pause for the technical people to get the fireworks coordinated was ended with a high flying sizzler, and a burst of fire... with a loud kaboom.
The Recreation commission did well in preparing for the 242-years celebrated of the country's birthday.