Americans celebrate special day
Fireworks will be going off in Springlands tonight as a Marlborough family gathers to celebrate American Independence Day.
American Heather Bowers, her Kiwi husband Mark Bowers and their children Lilah, 8, Rosie, 6, and Claire, 4 will be celebrating the 4th of July with hot dogs, chips, apple pie and a box of fireworks Mark's parents saved from Guy Fawkes Day.
While they are a long way from Mrs Bowers' Texan home and the traditional summer celebrations, the family will be keeping things as similar as possible, flying the American flag, wearing red, white and blue and singing the American national anthem.
In the United States, the buildup for the big day begins weeks in advance, but here Mrs Bowers said she took a more relaxed approach, only deciding on the celebration on Saturday. Mrs Bowers also has New Zealand citizenship and said the family have always made a point of celebrating both Kiwi and American holidays even when she and Mark lived in Australia and Malaysia.
Kiwis were a bit more reserved about their holidays, though, and she said she would like to see Waitangi Day marked as a celebration of Kiwi identity.
"Everybody thinks Americans are crazy and loud and everything, but there's a big sense of national pride and no matter what walk of life you are from, it [Independence Day] unifies the nation. It's like when the Rugby World Cup came here and everyone celebrated; in America we do that with our holidays."
While the children have all grown up in Marlborough, Lilah was born in the US and thinks of herself as American as well as Kiwi, and all the children said they were looking forward to the party.
Lilah said she was especially looking forward to "mum's apple pie", while Rosie said she was looking forward to the fireworks.
Mrs Bowers said there was one Kiwi touch she would be enjoying tonight - Steinlager.
- The Marlborough Express