Neighbor stories

The 2018 Most Patriotic Neighborhoods in America

Written by Annie Barco

The 4th of July is one of the most neighborly times of the year, as neighbors come together across the country to celebrate community, tradition, and, of course, America. In celebration of the holiday, we held a contest this year to find five of the “Most Patriotic Neighborhoods in America”.

After hundreds of amazing submissions, Nextdoor selected five winning neighborhoods from across the country who go above and beyond to celebrate the 4th of July and to honor community all year long. From parades, to potlucks, to dance and song, these neighborhoods show us the fun that can come from a connected neighborhood.

Colorado Springs, CO – Vista Grande Neighborhood

For over 12 years now, the Vista Grande neighborhood has celebrated the 4th with a big parade filled with kids on decorated bikes and scooters, parents waving flags and signs, and neighborhood pets decked out in their 4th of July best. After the parade, neighbors gather for shared food and drinks, kids enjoy a bounce house, ball pit, water balloon fight, face paint, snow cones, and much more. To top it off, the fire truck visits each year and sprays the hose for kids of all ages to run under and enjoy a cool down.

Last year, the neighborhood had over 250 people at the parade, with more and more guests attending every year. As a large military town with a lot of active duty and retired military living in the neighborhood, neighbors enjoy taking a moment to recognize and honor the veterans and first responders and thank them sincerely for their service.

Charlotte, NC – Druid Hills Neighborhood

Every day of the year, Druid Hills neighbors strive for inclusivity and that is this years’ 4th of July festivities theme. At the heart of the neighborhood is the Druid Hills community garden, where everyone comes to plant food from their culture. Right now they have eight cultures represented in the garden. For this year’s Independence Day celebration, the neighborhood is recreating Ellis Island in Charlotte, NC. They will have a Statue of Liberty placed in the garden and will have welcome stations where each participant will be contributing to the “Melting Pot of dishes” to be enjoyed by all that day, complete with an apple pie contest! There will be more than 100 neighbors participating in the celebration of their neighborhoods’ diversity, patriotism and unity on the 4th. They have chosen this Melting Pot-luck to bring neighbors together as they celebrate our country. Kelle, the neighbor who is organizing this year’s celebration says, “We all love America and the amazing cultures that have been embraced since the unification of it. Right now more than ever, we want to show diversity, unity and how amazing fresh food can bring people together.”

Omaha, NE – Field Club Neighborhood

The historic Field Club neighborhood is no stranger to 4th of July celebrations. For 35 years, the community has come together for an Independence Day parade complete with decorated wagons and bikes, families in classic cars, and neighbors decked out in their 4th of July best. One neighbor who has enters the parade every year is Al McColley, a WWII and Korean War veteran who has lived in Field Club for 54 years. Al rides his mobility scooter in the parade, with it decorated top to bottom with American flags, balloons, and special signs. After the parade, local celebrities vote on the best floats and costumes, and hot dogs and cookies are handed out to parade goers.

This neighborhood tradition is just one of many throughout the year. In the Fall, the neighborhood gathers for its annual Autumn Chili Tasting and in December the community comes together for the annual Holiday Luminary Night.

San Diego, CA – El Cerrito Neighborhood

For 10 years, the El Cerrito community has come together for its annual 4th of July celebration which kicks of on July 3rd with a neighborhood-wide movie night in the street. There is popcorn, treats and an opportunity drawing of patriotic prizes to help raise money to contribute to the event. Then, on the morning of the 4th, neighbors gather on the front porch and lawn of their neighbors’ historic craftsman home for a potluck brunch and musical performance from all the kids in the neighborhood. The neighborhood parade begins after the brunch and singing where families and children zoom through the neighborhood on bikes and wagons decorated in red,white, and blue. The local police and firefighters join in on the fun – this year, the PD and Mayor Faulconer are expected to walk in the parade. Afterwards, children can tour the fire truck and are treated to rides in antique cars around the neighborhood.

The El Cerrito neighborhood gets together often throughout the year, and always has each others’ backs in good times and bad. Last year the community came together to host a Farmer’s Market fundraiser for a neighbor who was dying of a brain tumor. After all the medical bills were paid, the neighborhood continued to raise money so that a memorial bench could be built and placed in a favorite hiking spot to honor this neighbor after his death.

Plymouth, MN – Ferndale North Neighborhood

The Ferndale North neighborhood goes BIG for its annual 4th of July party because it is a neighborhood that believes deeply in bringing community together and celebrating patriotism on the 4th and all year long. As a very diverse community with neighbors of all ages, cultures, and ethnicities, the Ferndale community prides itself on being a neighborhood that is made up of families from all different countries. Many homes in the neighborhood fly American flags all year to honor the veterans at Fort Snelling. Every year for the 4th of July they celebrate with a huge party complete with a bounce house, dunk tanks, snow cones, cotton candy, face paint, blow up climbing walls, tons of snacks and grilling, and a big parade for all neighbors to enjoy. Local police officers and firefighters bring their cop cars and fire trucks for the kids to check out, and the neighborhood concludes the party by watching fireworks from Lake Minnetonka. Over a few hundred guests come out every year to celebrate, and it is a gathering that is talked about all year until the next 4th of July rolls around.

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