Who will come to the parade?

Every year, the Fourth of July parades and celebrations are something to greatly anticipate, and this year is no different.

The celebrations in Milford and Amherst offer us all a chance to join with our friends and neighbors and have a great time while we remember what the day is really all about: the independence of a great nation.

In Amherst, the big event is the parade that features neighborhood floats, the Fire Department, politicians waving and hoping for support, and the announcement of the citizen of the year.

In Milford, it’s a day of fun at Keyes Field, followed by fireworks.

Both are true set pieces of Americana, reminiscent of scenes in the brilliant movie “Picnic,” with William Holden and Kim Novak. Celebrations like these make us feel good about who we are and where we live, and remind us of how lucky we are.

On July 4, everyone seems happy, glad to be where they are.

Perhaps Nancy Head, who organizes the Amherst celebration, put it better than we ever could when she said:

“It’s the community spirit, the fun, the good will. It’s the community getting together and that small-town feeling.”

It’s that way in Milford, too.

Sometimes, especially in recent years, it seems that we’ve gotten away from that small-town feeling; that because so many of us work outside the communities in which we live, we have lost the sense of community. But it all seems to come back to us July 4, when we gather in places such as the Amherst Village Common or Keyes Field in Milford and celebrate the birth of our nation.

Make the most of it. Go to the Amherst parade, go visit the community booths on the common, listen to the announcement of the citizen of the year. Shake hands with someone you haven’t seen for a few months.

Then, go to Keyes Field and take in the fun and games. Bring your kids, because there’s a lot for them to do there. And stick around for the fireworks. Recreation Director Nicole Banks says you’re going to have a great time, and we bet she’s right.