By Montana Grant

Posted: July 4, 2019

The 4th of July is a special American holiday. Each tear we celebrate our freedom and birth of our country. Along with the memory of our Democracy and Republic, comes other special displays. Fireworks, flags, and family and friend gatherings are traditional.

One annual party has been tradition along the banks of the Gallatin River. A pair of friends sponsor a cookout celebration each year. The trail to the Party site winds through acres of pristine riverside property. Once at the picnic area, large charcoal grills are set up along with ice, beverages, salads, snacks, and games.

Many of the guests are new to the event and find fun ways to make new friendships. “Montana Chef Mike” is a master of the grill. “Keeping the temperatures under control is most important! You want heat, not flames.” Chef Mike used a water pottle to back off any hot spots. Originally from Maryland, Chef Mike takes great pride I his grilling. Old bay is among his selection of spices. Now a long time Montanan, Mike is a welcome part of our country.

“Gallatin River Joe” is the landowner that generously opens his door and heart to all who come. American flags lined the shoreline and country music played from a radio across the creek. Mowed trails invited guests to hike and explore. Sharing your home with friends and family is a wonderful gift. Joe is also a master Cornhole thrower.

The grill menu included many personal recipes from Mom. These secret recipes were unique and delicious. Not only were basic hot dogs and burgers on the menu, so where many other delights. Spicy Brats soaked in a sauce simply melted in your mouth. No condiments were needed. Pork ribs, grilled corn in the husks, meatballs, pulled pork, shrimp, and other goodies were on deck.

One unique dish included a whole pineapple stuffed with pork, wrapped in bacon and foil, then grilled to perfection. Food invites folks to feel relaxed and free to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

As the river flowed by, kids played, dogs swam, Cornhole was in full swing, and water balloons exploded, we are reminded about why we celebrate the 4th of July. This holiday is all American. Having the freedom to do what we want in a friendly and welcoming society is a signature of our country. That’s why so many other people want to come here too.

We can never forget that the freedom that we enjoy is not free. Citizens have always stepped up to ensure we are a free society that can find ways to work and play together. Simple cookouts and parties are a venue where this can happen.

Put out your flags and welcome mats to all.

Montana Grant

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