4th of July in Small Town Wisconsin ~ Personal Film Work

James and I magically had no weddings over the 4th of July weekend this year and so we took this rare summer weekend off to spend it with family and friends back in my hometown! I come from a verrrrrry small town in Wisconsin (technically it is a Village… thankyouverymuch), and they do the 4th of July in true small town USA fashion!

There’s a parade that goes down the main street in town – complete with fire fighters marching in line holding flags, the local high school dance team dancing their way through town, and of course – tractors. Lots of them. My entire extended family meets in the front of the furniture store/funeral home that was once my grandparents’ and is now run by my uncle and my cousin – that sits right on the parade route. We enjoy a quintessential 4th of July feast, and sip on our cold beverage of choice, while watching the little ones chasing after candy thrown from the parade.

Then you head up to the park to eat more food, and listen to live music, while the kids get tickets to hop in the 10 million bouncy-house things, and ride ponies in a circle. (I must say – the rides were way more scary/exciting when we were kids! Things like the scrambler, and a ferris wheel (all put together the day before off the back of a semi that carried it into town – haha) were all the rage when I was growing up! I’m guessing they were deemed not safe enough anymore, and probably rightly so. haha)

Then later that night you come back to the park, stock up on cotton candy and popcorn, and sit on your blanket along the baseball diamond, waiting for the fireworks to start. I joked with my sister that fireworks elsewhere just don’t feel the same as they do in our hometown – where they’re set off so close to where you sit in the crowd that occasionally when we were kids the embers would fall from the sky and land on our blanket!! haha! I mean, they just aren’t fireworks unless you feel like your life might be threatened – am I right?! haha!

Anyway – I used a mix of digital, my phone, and film to document our weekend… so here it is!


We started off the weekend with a BBQ at my parents’ house – hosting all my best girlfriends from home and their spouses/families! It was SO nice to get everyone together (which almost never happens) and just enjoy a beautiful night! (These were shot on my Canon 5D Mark iii)


Next up was the parade on the 4th! (The first two are cell phone pics, the rest are film!)


Then I switched to Tri-X 400 black & white film when we headed up to the park!


My oldest nephew was so determined to take down this kid that was 2x his size!! Unfortunately he barely budged, no matter how determined he was!


A certain little girl was super stoked to be riding a pony!


Another unfair match-up… oldest nephew vs. youngest nephew. But he put up a good fight! 🙂


The last few are cell phone pics from the fireworks! Can you tell someone wasn’t a fan of the noise?! haha



I love the 4th!!! I hope you all enjoyed yours too!!

(All film photos shot on my Mamiya 645. The color images were on Porta 400, Black & White were Tri-X 400.)

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!