My good pal Ben lives in Burr Ridge close enough to Pleasantdale Park for a clear view of the annual July 3rd fireworks.  His daughter’s birthday is this weekend, so they combined it with the holiday and went all out with a giant waterslide and and whole lotta burgers, dogs & other assorted meats.  They’ve hosted July 3rd parties before, but this was the first year it was forced into the front yard because all the rain has soggied the backyard beyond party-readiness.  Ben had to work his butt off to drag all the stuff into the front in the AM, but he got it done and tapped the keg of Miller Lite as a reward.  Killing a keg at an adult party can be a tall task, unlike high school & college parties of our youth when multiple kegs floated, often necessitating another run to the liquor store.  Now we opt for the bottled beer options or various mixed drink options and keg beer isn’t the highlight.  We did some damage on the barrel, best we could.  Speaking of liquor stores, I stopped at Mainstreet Liquors on LaGrange Road to pick up this bottle of vodka.

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It’s the only vodka made from distilled snow leopards.  Just kidding.    Every time you take a sip, a snow leopard is saved.  Or something like that.  It sounded cool and Ben seemed to appreciate the bottle.  He made me his cocktail du jour – a vodka mixed with a Steigl Radler – those low-alcohol grapfruit-beer.  Great summer sipper.

A partygoer brought a trunkful of fireworks to whet everyone’s whistle for the big display later:

 

Pleasantdale puts on one of the better Independence Day shows in the area.  High, loud and well, you’ve seen fireworks before.  Booming finale:

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The rain held off for a night and I had a great night with friends to get America’s birthday off to a rollicking start.