Joe’s Hero Birthday Party – Celebrating Firefighters, Police and Military on the 4th of July

Joe has been waiting and waiting to turn 5.  All school year long, he watched his friends turn the fabulous 5.  When it came time to plan our own party, Joe exclaimed he had been waiting  years for this birthday.  And it’s true.  He’s waited his whole entire lifetime for this big day.

With such a *big* day to celebrate, Joe wanted to be sure to pick the best theme.  Unable to decide between firefighters, police and military, we decided to celebrate all Heros.  It turned out to be the perfect theme since we had Lt. Uncle Russ attend, had a Houston Firetruck stop by and a curious police officer drive by a few times.

Since Joe is more popular than both of his parents combined, and we needed to invite a lot of other 5 year olds, we held a simple party at our tiny house.  We set up tables and games outside and hoped for sunshine.  On July 4th, we started at 3:30pm and walked over to the firework shows at 9:00pm.

For such a marathon of a party, we kept things simple.  One the menu were fish sticks (at Joe’s request), spinach salad with dried cherries and candied pecans, fruit salad, make-your-own patriotic parfaits and dipped strawberries.  The cake, with the US Navy Seal (at Joe’s request) was from HEB.  Our *signature drink*, for this fabulous 5 year old birthday party, was a watermelon smoothie (with and without rum).

For fun, the kids played in the water, played Pin the Badge on the Fire Dog, broke the Fire Engine Pinata, searched for Sheriff’s Badges in the sandbox and played and played and played.  At dark we handed out Flashing LED Rings and Glow Sticks.

One of the most *fabulous* parts of this 5 year old birthday party was the Houston Fire Truck that came by.  For years we have been taking cookies to our local fire station.  Here the wonderful firefighters know Chief Joe and take good care of him.  On the morning of the party I sent Joe and his dad over with a cookie cake, that I had had HEB personalize with, “It’s Joe’s Birthday, please drive by our party!”, in frosting.

To our delight, as the party started, we heard a siren out front.  The firemen were coming home from a call and stopped to see Joe.  The firemen wished Joe a happy birthday, talked with the children and let them see the truck.  This.Was.Amazing.

The rest of the day was spent talking with friends and wondering if the firetruck visit was real or a dream.  We did not give out an extra party favor this year, and if anyone were to comment on it, I’d just say, “But we had a firetruck.”.  (In fact, for any mistake or shortcut I take in the future, I play to say, “But we had a firetruck.”.)  And as if the firetruck excuse is not enough, we had also stuffed the pinata with extra good gifts like Sheriff’s Badges and Hero Rubber Ducks Duckies.  (And don’t worry, no one is really complaining.  I just like to talk about the firetruck.)

And speaking of firetrucks, we raised some money for the Houston Fire Museum.   Instead of gifts, Joe asked for a small donation to the Museum. He raised $75 for his favorite place and was pleased-as-punch to deliver it today.

All in all, the party was a big success.  Starting with the new school year, I’ll be reminding Joe that it’s okay to wait for his birthday, because he gets to have *fabulous* 4th of July party!  (And I will probably remind him of firetruck visit.  Daily.)


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