Great American holiday worth the wait |

Great American holiday worth the wait

Fourth of July is serious business for some people.

Take Luis Medina, for example. His Fourth of July celebration began at 5 a.m. on Sunday when he crawled out of his toasty-warm sleeping bag and walked from his crowded campsite at the El Dorado Recreation Area, across U.S. Highway 50, to a small barbecue on El Dorado Beach.

No, he wasn’t sleep walking. Medina, who came with 25 family members from his home in Santa Clara, Calif., is just carrying on tradition.

This is the fifth year Medina and his family have watched the fireworks from this barbecue pit and picnic table. And he said no amount of money – not even $1,000 – would lure him away from his staked out spot on the edge of the nicely trimmed grass that overlooks the lake as it laps against the strip of beach below.

“We do it for the kids,” he said, as hamburgers sizzled on the grill. “We’ve got the grandparents, the parents and the grandkids all here.”

Medina may have been the first to draw out his territory on El Dorado Beach this Fourth of July, but he wasn’t the last.

Charla and Richard Elliott, of Shingle Springs, Calif., weren’t too far behind – they showed up at about 6:30 a.m. They, too, have made a tradition of the fireworks event at Tahoe.

But Charla admitted that, for them, the fireworks show isn’t always the headline act after spending all day on the beach.

“We all enjoy watching the people,” Charla said. “We come from crowds and tourist areas so we really don’t mind all the people.”

Richard said the food is always a big attraction, too.

With about 30 of their friends’ mouths to feed, the Elliotts brought along with them the usual Fourth of July fare – potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelon and sandwiches.

“When we get together we tend to eat really well,” Richard said, his red, white and blue T-shirt flapping in the mountain breeze.

Along with the Elliott’s patriotic attire, Medina’s family dressed in full Fourth of July regalia – they wore matching T-shirts with an American flag flown proudly across the breast.

“This is really a great American thing,” Charla said.

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