The Fourth of July has once again come… and gone. Americans swelled with patriotism throughout our country as we celebrated the 4th and the Island and our local communities exemplified this patriotism with passion.

As I sit at my desk writing this post, I think back on the great week the Island just experienced. It was terrific. There were countless flags waving, several red, white, and blue balloons bobbing back and forth in the breeze and the excitement of the 4th was everywhere.

Each year the Island is home to a vibrant scene on Independence Day. As I mentioned in my Balboa Island Parade blog, the residents here really know how to show their pride for country, particularly on July 4th. And there are A LOT OF PEOPLE. I mean A LOT. It is quite the atmosphere.

Most Island residents basically “hunker down” and find our parking spaces around July 1st and play “swap the parking spot” game with our friends and relatives until the end of the fireworks shows. Trying to get on and off Island can be a challenge over the holiday but it is balanced with great fun and enjoyment.

And let us not forget the amazing smell of the Island BBQs! Sometimes people ask me, as a realtor, about the closeness of the properties on the Island to one another. Trust me, on this day, with that many steaks, burgers, and hot dogs on the grill… it’s great to have houses in such close proximity!

Another great activity to take part in on July 4th is the Old Glory Boat Parade. Many boat owners decorate their vessels in red, white and blue, play music and fly their flags high in the annual harbor parade. The scene is quite impressive. Locals can also take a fireworks cruise in the harbor at night to watch the local fireworks shows. Basically, whether you’re a resident of 30 years or visiting for the very first time, there is plenty to do and a great deal to see.

The 4th of July also seems to really represent the commencement of the beach summer season. June can bring with it a lot of visitors and sometimes warm and sunny weather, but it also brings the annual “June Gloom.” There is almost a sense that everybody is warming up for the next two months of real summer. Well, it is here now.

The next 8-10 weeks are (apart from the Christmas boat parade and Halloween night) the busiest of the year on the Island. Each weekday in summer is probably busier than any busy Saturday in the fall or spring. But the truth is, if you ask many Islanders, it is a fun two months. It’s great to see the kids in BIYC on their small boats, all the activity in the harbor, the inevitable traffic disputes on Marine and meeting new people.

The fourth kicks all that off. It came, it went. Summer has started!