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Old Wednesday, July 4th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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charlierat charlierat is offline
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Default 4th of July on Aruba

I'm not Charles or Lisa but I have an Aruba story to share on this, the 4th of July. It's not so much a snippet as it is a general childhood memory.

You all know that Seroe Colorado was a predominantly (not entirely) American community living on Aruba during the years when the Lago refinery was in operation, right? For the middle years of the 20th century, it was actually one of the largest communities of Americans living outside of the U.S.A. (it peaked out at over 3,000 people). Quite naturally, the 4th of July was a big celebration on the Seroe Colorado events calendar.

The party started at the picnic grounds. There is nothing left of the picnic grounds anymore except a sandy road that winds through the mangroves that have taken over the area but, once upon a time, there was a large covered pavillion, some big bar-b-que pits, lots of picnic tables, and a parking lot in the area between Baby Beach (which was never called Baby Beach - it was always called Baby Lagoon) and the pet cemetery.

The entire community would turn out for an outdoor picnic that consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and side dishes of beans, chips and salads. There were several large coolers (when I say large, I mean, freezer sized) with soft drinks and beer. A brass band (conducted by a Dutchman named Jan Koolman) set up at one end of the pavillion and played John Phillip Sousa type songs and everyone chowed down. There were games for the kids and later, there were activites at Rodgers Beach. One of the main activites was a competition involving private, single engine airplanes dropping bean-bags into rings that were floated out in the lagoon. (A lot of Seroe Colorado grown-ups were into aviation.) I have a fuzzy recollection of a kite flying competition, too, but I don't know how you compete at kite flying. I also have a fuzzy recollection involving baseball or softball games at Lone Palm Stadium (the remnants of which are still evident just inland from Baby Beach next to the remnants of the Esso Club) and there was probably a tennis tournament as well. There was a covered patio at Rodgers Beach and a steel band often would set up there and play.

After dark, there was a fireworks display. The fireworks were shot off of a barge that was anchored in the lagoon. The best place to watch the fireworks was from the Church gardens on the slope of the hill below the Seroe Colorado Church. Not much is left of the Church gardens which is a real shame. They were quite luxuriant with stone paths winding through them (the paths are still there) and open air huts where the kids attended Sunday school. I have been told that a tropical storm wiped out the gardens several years ago. Pity.

The 4th of July party in Seroe Colorado was discontinued sometime in the mid 1960's. By then, the American community had dwindled down to less than 1,000. But those were some seriously good childhood memories.

Happy 4th of July everybody!
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Old Sunday, March 2nd, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Manzanita Manzanita is offline
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Default Re: 4th of July on Aruba

My youngest grand child was born on the 4th of the July in 2006 so this date has special meaning for me these days. I love this nostalgic post about Aruba, Charlierat....
Thanks, Nancy
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Old Tuesday, March 4th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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LocaLisa LocaLisa is offline
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Default Re: 4th of July on Aruba

love your story, now i can see and relate some puzzling layout of this place. we still do the kite flying competition but on another date on april 30th (Queen's day).
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Old Friday, October 16th, 2009, 05:01 AM
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Default surfing kites

Nice! bookmarked it! i will check it later. Thanks very much for sharing
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