Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Independence Day is upon us and if you are like me, you are looking forward to celebrating with the five F’s—fireworks, food, family, friends and fun—not necessarily in that order. The Winston’s are planning a big backyard barbeque with the grill master, yours truly, cooking up steaks, burgers and hot dogs. This year I am adding veggie dogs to my repertoire because my daughter announced that she was a vegetarian last night, which I suspect has more to do with the fact that her favorite actor, Milo Ventimiglia of Heroes fame, is a vegetarian rather than her own love of animals—but then I am a cynic. After the feeding frenzy, we’re off to ooh and aah over fireworks and bask in our freedom. Naturally there are many ways to celebrate the 4th and Americans across the country find a plethora of ways to show their spirit—here are a few I found interesting:

1) In Atlanta, 55,000 Americans will participate in the 40th Annual Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10K in the world. Running is not my idea of fun, but some people like it.

2) My home city of Pittsburgh has many celebrations, but my favorite is the Annual Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta which attracts over 400,000 people who come to enjoy extreme water sports, freestyle motocross, powerboat racing, children’s activities, national-act concerts, and the dramatic Fourth of July fireworks show.

3) No July 4th is complete without hotdogs—New York hosts Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest, regarded as the “Super Bowl” of competitive eating in Coney Island.

4) Chicago gets a headstart on the festivities with the Macy’s Independence Eve Fireworks Display on July 3rd. which attracts up to a million people.

5) The largest fireworks display in Oklahoma takes place in Duck Creek. Boats and yachts parade up and down the main part of the Creek while people throw beads and dance to lively music. Over 20 vintage aircraft from the U.S. and overseas, many of which have flown combat missions, perform an air show over the water while “buzzing” the hundreds of boats below.

6) If you really want to go hog wild, try the Mud Wallowing Contest in Apple Ridge, Ohio (the pig capitol of Northern Ohio). The 4th of July tradition has participants rolling around in mud and squealing like pigs.

Of course, I mark every holiday with a custom imprinted gift because nothing says “America” like promoting your business. Rush Imprint has dozens of patriotic promotional products to help you celebrate the American way. So, get out there and enjoy the holiday by celebrating your own success.

Well, I’m off to marinate some steaks and read up on the grilling of veggie dogs. On this day, remember the words of Albert Camus, “Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.” Pretty wise words for a Frenchman.