LHR SignWell, here it is summer time again with lots of warm sunny weather and all sorts of great summer activities to enjoy. One of the highlights, of course, is Independence Day. How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?

Here at Long Hollow Ranch we have a long-standing tradition that was started back in the early- to mid- part of the 20th century when the Holmes family owned the ranch. They hosted a big picnic for the entire Lower Bridge community every year on the Fourth of July. People would come from many miles around to visit with their neighbors (in those days in these parts, a neighbor was anyone living within 10 miles of the ranch.) When the ranch was sold in the 1960s, the new owners discontinued the traditional event.

So after Long Hollow Ranch acquired the ranch and began the guest business in 2000, Shirley decided it was time to renew the traditional neighborhood picnic. Not only is it great fun, but it is the only time during the year that many of the neighbors actually get see each other. Some years a few of the Holmes family members began to attend the picnic too, and that’s always a special treat.

To keep up the old-fashioned tradition we do what we call an open potluck, meaning that we don’t plan who will bring what dish. And it always works out very well with a nice balance of dishes from entrees to desserts. Boy, are these local ladies ever good cooks! We love potlucks!

Of course the stars and stripes are on display in many ways. The picnic tables on the front lawn under the shade trees are decorated with red, white and blue cloths and flowers. The dining porch holds the food tables laden with all that luscious fare and everything has a very festive look. Some of us even dress in red, white and blue.

Often there are dude ranch guests staying over the Fourth so they join in the festivities as well. They come from other countries as well as other parts of the U.S.A. so it’s a good opportunity for them to interact with our local American friends and neighbors.

In addition to the ranch picnic, there are parades and fireworks to enjoy in the local communities, so why don’t you plan to celebrate the next Fourth of July with us here in Central Oregon?

Late news: We just learned that a photographer and a writer from France 2, the French national TV in Paris, France will be in the area to film the 4th of July events in Sisters country, and the Long Hollow Ranch July 4th picnic is one of the events to be filmed as a part of their story.