Splish, splash: Family takes Fourth of July as chance to spend on lake

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2018

Most Fourth of July holidays look like dazzling fireworks and smell like charred hot dogs, but it’s all about recreation for the Brown family.

Siblings Melissa and Greg Brown grew up spending their free time at their parents’ property on Lake St. John, and on Wednesday they were spreading the love.

As Melissa drove the family’s pontoon boat out onto the lake, little ones waited for their turn to ride the inner tube and a chance to be splashed in the hot sun.

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“We are out here every weekend,” Melissa said. “Fourth of July is really the only time we can all get together up here.”

The Brown family’s holiday celebration was complete with food and drinks, but a good portion of friends and family were spending their time swimming off the end of the dock, while the kids took turns doing back flips and jumping off the rope swing.

Older aunts, uncles and cousins shared rides on a jet ski, but the favorite among Luke Balestra, Brody Watts and Samuel Merritt was the tube.

Once everyone had their opportunity to be bounced by a thin rope attached to the back of the boat, Balestra, 10, wasted no time letting everyone know his experience.

“That was fun,” he said as he climbed back into the boat.

Balestra said he especially enjoys the ride for the water.

“You get a lot of action out there,” he said. “The best part is doing giant skips in the air. It makes me happy.”

Balestra said, too, the Fourth of July is one of the best days to spend with friends.

“It’s better than being by yourself,” he said.

As Melissa took the boys in circles, they all managed to keep ahold of the tube. She said she likes to watch their joy because it reminds her of being young.

“I love it because I don’t get out and do that anymore,” she said. “We used to go out as kids and get killed on the tube. I just remember flying off.”

Though the Browns’ day was filled with all kind of sports, it never elevated to any kind of competition. The holiday is a day for fun, Melissa said.

“We are all family,” she said. “We think this is the best way to spend Fourth of July.”