• Entertainment not appropriate for kids

We took our family out tonight for the Valdosta Independence Day Celebration near the mall. We were expecting a traditional, family-oriented display of patriotism. We witnessed nothing short of the exact opposite. Our negative experience motivated me to write to you.

We were positioned at the Target parking lot tonight where we were greeted by the broadcast of music with some of the most vulgar language possible. It was almost as if the promoters were trying to say young families were not welcome. Not once in the almost four hours we were there did we hear a patriotic note ring out over the crowd.

However, within 15 minutes of arriving, we heard phrases which repeated each and every foul word we are trying so hard to keep out of our children’s lexicons. We heard several references to women as mere sexual objects. The lyrics to these songs depicted scenes that would have deemed an “R” rating had they been scripted in a movie. I would not like to violate anyone else’s right to free speech, but in the given situation, was this entertainment truly appropriate?

While being pelted with vulgarity, we sat in a well-lit parking lot, craning our necks to see around buildings and street lights to catch a glimpse of the fireworks. Is this the absolute best venue for the fireworks? Is there not an open area in Valdosta/Lowndes County where everyone can sit in clear view of the excitement?

I am completely dumbfounded. Did we show up for the wrong display? Was this some sort of a summer block party rather than a celebration of the anniversary of our country’s independence from tyranny? Not once did we hear a patriotic note ring out over the crowd tonight. Even at Wild Adventures they turn the lights off for their nightly fireworks display, which usually is accompanied by, at the very least, Lee Greenwood singing the praises of our fine country.

While I am not lobbying to bring Lee Greenwood to Valdosta next year, I would like to challenge the coordinators of this very significant event to research a location where families can spread out on a blanket together under the stars. Instead of a block party atmosphere, we could focus on the true meaning of the day with wholesome, patriotic entertainment. As we are quick to point out that Jesus is the reason for the 25th of December, so should we teach our children that pride in our country and the fundamental values it was founded on is the true reason for the Fourth of July.

Kristy Greenwood Valdosta