This and that from an airport near you

Some people scroll through TikTok dances at the end of the day.

We click through the airport and airline news on Twitter.

Here are some items we stopped to read Tuesday evening.

Leave the fireworks at home

July 4th is going to be a busy time at airports and long security lines might make tempers flare. Don’t make it worse by bringing fireworks (even sparklers) in your carry-on bag.

Southwest Airline’s Freedom One

This plane with a patriotic livery is making the rounds. Be sure to watch how they made the paint scheme happen.

SFO adding some new gates and amenities

SFO keeps moving forward. We’re can’t wait to visit the new museum gallery.

United Airlines going all-in with new aircraft

We’re all for new planes, bigger overhead bins, seatback entertainment, and the promise of being able to connect wireless headphones with Bluetooth technology. 

Got plans for July 4th?

Still wondering how and where to celebrate July 4th this year?

Finding a fireworks display won’t be very hard. Towns small and large set those off.

South Dakota – fireworks over Homestake Mine

But here at, we have a few offbeat celebrations to suggest.

The tiny town of George, WA, promises a “Family-friendly, Old-Fashioned Independence Day in a Great Little American Town.”

Festivities include a parade, a fun run, music, food, kids activities, pie eating and cherry pit spit contests and evening fireworks.

But our favorite part of the day features free slices from the World’s Largest Cherry Pie, which is 8-feet by 8-feet and made each year by The Georgettes, a local community group.

And in Baltimore, we love the July 4th pet parade hosted by the American Visionary Art Museum.

Pets – and their people – can participate in the parade for free. There are trophies awarded in categories such as Best Costume, Most Patriotic, Most Visionary Pet, Owner & Pet Lookalikes and Least Likely to Succeed as a Pet.

After the parade, there’s a Pet Talent [or Not] Show.

How are you celebrating July 4th this year?

5 wacky ways to celebrate the 4th of July

No need to settle for the traditional barbecue or parade this July 4th holiday weekend.
Head instead to one of these towns showing off an offbeat and independent patriotic spirit.


World’s Largest Cherry Pie served in George, Washington. Courtesy Debby Kooy

In George, Washington, the celebration includes baking the world’s largest cherry pie. “They used to pick the cherries, pit the cherries, make the filling and bake the pie in a special 8 by 8 foot pan in a giant wood-fired stove over in the park,” said Debby Kooy, 58, part of a local service group called the Georgettes that bakes the treat annually. “That lasted until the year they served burnt cherry pie.”

Now they use ovens at a nearby high school, assembling what Kooy calls “more of a giant cherry crumble,” scooped out free on July 4th to about 2000 hungry fans.

Tortoise pet parade

Courtesy Nick Parvas, AVAM

Meanwhile, just off Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, Md., instead of baton twirlers and fire trucks, they celebrate with a pet parade and animal talent show. A regular favorite is Brutus the Tortoise, “who always carries some sort of wild, patriotic contraption on his shell,” said Nick Prevas, spokesman for the American Visionary Art Museum, which hosts the event.

Participants have also included the usual dogs and cats, but also cows, an alpaca, a cicada circus and “imaginary pets,” said Prevas.

“There’s always someone with one of those ‘ghost dog’ leashes and one year someone carried a can that made meowing sounds,” he said.

Gatlinburg Parade - Betsy Ross copy

The prize for “first” 4th of July parade goes to Gatlinburg, Tenn, which begins at midnight. The early start doesn’t scare away attendees. The town says it expects 100,000 to attend, with some staking out their positions beside the route with lawn chairs as early as 7 a.m. on July 3rd. Later, the celebrations continue with an unmanned river raft regatta.

For other cities, Independence Day isn’t just about bringing 1776 back to life. Orlando’s Celebration Town Center, within the orbit of nearby Disney World, hosts a “Sci-Fi” 4th of July, with an appropriately themed costume contest. During the fireworks display, the rockets released into the air are synchronized to soundtracks from science fiction movies and television shows.

Mount Vernon fireworks daytime

In a nod to modernity, “George Washington” sends word via email from his historic estate in Mount Vernon, Va, that he’s “awaiting many guests to my home on this festive day.” On the grounds of where the first President lived, tourists can watch as the re-enactor “inspects the troops,” played by a group of Revolutionary War re-enactors.

Then, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will swear in 100 new U.S. citizens. Following the ceremony are daytime fireworks and birthday cake.