In New England, the celebrations surrounding the 4th of July are palpable; parades, center of town concerts, strawberry shortcake festivals. Weeks in advance, the white clapboard houses lining the proverbial main street, north street and south street don their festive regalia in preparation for independence day celebrations. Flags and buntings unfurl from their wintry storage places, with a brisk dusting off, they begin to don the front porches and entryways of various houses. Planters and hanging baskets begin to fill with red white and blue petunia or begonia and window boxes are outfitted with miniature flags on little gold-capped wooden sticks, the very same that line the brick pathways leading from street to the front doors of many houses this time of year. While the 4th of July conjures this very specific imagery, it celebrations also manifest in the form of backyard picnics, cookouts and potlucks.