The Fourth of July was one of my favorite holidays when I was growing up. Our family home had a big backyard, with an open field of grass and a pool, perfect for hosting the party my parents would throw every year on the 4th. Those evenings were everything you could want Independence Day to be, from throwing down as many hot dogs and sodas as possible, to gathering in the grass for that perfect view of the fireworks display at the church down the road.  

Those of us who wait all year long for the 4th couldn’t be living in a more perfect location than Arcadia. One of the most iconic events in our neighborhood is the always anticipated annual Fourth of July parade (page 28). If you’re looking for another way to spend the day, we’ve got a list of patriotic events around the area to choose from (page 5). 

This month is the full-blown middle of summer, when our lives revolve around how to enjoy our days without succumbing to heat stroke. The Arcadia News is here to help, with suggestions on where to get ice cold treats (page 29), which lake to spend a day at (page 40), which resort to plan a staycation at (page 22), and how to best enjoy California if you make a run for the beach (page 38). 

Summer is also a great time for weekend barbeques, and we’ve got two local experts that can help you learn to grill like the pros (page 26). And of course, our special summer series Postcards from the Past is back with more images of Phoenix in summers from years ago (page 32). 

As always, I encourage you to reach out to me with any story ideas, suggestions or feedback. Many of our best neighborhood stories are made possible by local readers who contact us. We hope you enjoy the July 2018 edition – and thank you for reading the Arcadia News!

— Nick Smith