This was the first Independence Day that I have spent in Columbus, so I was excited to attend my first-ever “Red, White, & Boom” event, an annual festival and fireworks display along the Scioto River. About 400,000 people filled the downtown area last Friday for the show, and it was difficult to find a good vantage point to see the fireworks. My friend Janice and I ended up standing in a crowd outside of the courthouse, which, with the American flag flying above, was actually a perfect place to take photographs. While the combination of the fireworks and the flag created a patriotic scene in some instances, in others, it created a rather apocalyptic scene.
Last Saturday, I also had the privilege of attending a Midsummer ritual hosted by the Nine Worlds Kindred, a local Asatru community. I’ve been working on an audio essay about mead – a sacred drink in Asatru – for the American Religious Sounds Project. During the ritual, participants lifted a horn of mead to honor the gods, ancestors, and each other. An afternoon of feasting, games, and other festivities followed.
Thanks for looking!