4th of July

Free lemonade, parades & other 4th of July fun at airports

Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports and Miami International Airport are among the airports that have some fun – and free – 4th of July activities planned for passengers this week.

In Chicago, there’s music, free flags and free lemonade:

Passengers traveling through O’Hare and Midway on Tuesday, July 2, will be entertained with a variety of music performances in the terminals from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

At O’Hare, head to Terminal 1 on the lower level near Ciao’s concession; in Terminal 2 go past the security checkpoints next to Wicker Park Seafood and Sushi Bar; and, if you’re in Terminal 3, listen for the local bands just past security near the entrance to Concourse L. There’s also live music planned for the International Terminal, on the lower level next to the News and Gifts Store.

At Midway today (July 2nd) there’s live jazz music from noon to 3 in the Midway Boulevard Food Court. And on Tuesday there will be live music on the lower level baggage claim area next to the Information Booth.
Tuesday, July 3 and Thursday July 5th, Airport Ambassadors will on duty at Midway handing out complimentary lemonade as well.

And if you want a miniature American flag, just ask for one at a Traveler’s Aid booth at either airport.

At Miami International Airport, there’s a DJ playing “patriotic beats,” Wii games and parades that include parade beads and an opportunity to get your photo taken with George Washington. Check here for locations.

Tidbits for travelers: Roadside Distractions & Quirky 4th of July

Ready for the weekend?  I sure am.   Especially after working on these two fun articles.

Paul Bunyan

(Statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox, greet travelers in Bemidji, MN.)

From the air, you might be lulled into thinking that every town looks the same. Once you’re down on the ground, take a closer look:  there are plenty of unusual and offbeat roadside distractions that can spice up your trip.

For example, this giant roadside rabbit!

Harvey the rabbit

Years ago someone brought a 26-foot tall, wind-damaged statue of a blue-jacketed Texaco gas station attendant to the fiberglass department of Ed Harvey’s boat shop in Aloha, Oregon.  The repair estimate topped $2,000, so the owner abandoned the statue.  Harvey, a big fan of the 1950 movie, Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart and a giant imaginary rabbit named Harvey, decided to put a rabbit head on the fiberglass man and post him in front of the store.   Harvey the giant bunny-man was an instant hit.

basket building

Curious about where to find this building shaped like a giant picnic basket or the town that has a  shrine to jackalopes?  See my Roadside Distractions slide show that posted recently on MSN.com .

LAKE TAHOE -

Of course, the July 4th holiday is all about picnics, parades and fireworks. But for a “Classic and Quirky 4th of July Celebrations” story for MSNBC.com, I found a town that celebrates freedom with worm races and another that starts its holiday parade at a 12:01 AM on the 4th of July.

Clearlake, CA. - Worm Races