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For my first Love The Place You Live column here in Oakland, I thought an Oakland A’s game would be perfect! The game was on Thursday night, July 3rd, and was followed by a huge fireworks display. Apparently, it’s an Independence Day tradition here and happens every year the night before the 4th. And it’s so much fun!

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The weather was ideal. The crowd was in a festive mood. And the A’s won!

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The light was so pretty in the stadium, and the kids looked so cute, I took a million photos.

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We have two kid-size A’s hats that the kids all traded around throughout the game.

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With and without the hats, the whole family did our best to be good fans — everyone hunted down any green and yellow we could find in our closets.

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Of course, it’s always fun when the home team wins! The kids loved standing up during the 7th inning stretch to sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

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The stadium was full and the fans were enthusiastic.

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Lots of yellow and green — and even some fabulous metallic gold!

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I haven’t been to a professional baseball game in ages, and it made me nostalgic to see all the traditions in place — down to the cotton candy and hotdogs. (We didn’t actually eat at the game, but it was still fun to have concessions sellers walking up and down the stands with their wares.)

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We’re always on the lookout for activities that the whole family enjoys — teenagers and preschoolers alike. This definitely qualified.

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The sun dropped behind the stadium around the 7th inning.

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Then, the stadium lights came on.

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After the game, attendees were invited down onto the field. Very exciting! Before I went down to join my family, I watched the crowd rush out and fill the grass. So much energy!

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Once the grass was packed with people, the empty stadium seats filled up with Oaklanders that didn’t have tickets to the game, but came to see the fireworks.

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The grass fills up fast, so people that want to watch the fireworks on the lawn start lining up in the 8th inning. Some local friends that go every year clued us in, so we knew to get in line and bring blankets for the grass.

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It was such a cool thing to get to be down on the grass where the players do their thing. I love that my kids got to experience that.

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When it was time to start, the A’s mascot — the White Elephant — appeared on the jumbotron. As he pulled down a giant lever, the stadium lights went out and the crowd cheered. Time for fireworks!

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Patriotic songs played through the fireworks, while we lay on our blankets in the grassy stadium and watched the sky light up. I adore fireworks! And this was an especially good display. It felt like a gift to the Oakland community, and being there felt like we were legitimate members of the Oakland community.

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Charles, our exchange student from France, said he’s never seen such an epic fireworks display.

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It was a late night, but the whole family was pumped up after the fireworks and stayed up talking when we got home.

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Our first family visit to an A’s game was a success!

Now, it’s your turn. Leave your link below. I can’t wait to read your posts and see what you discovered!

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Love The Place You Live: July 2014 Linkup

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