Chiang Mai Mail’s editor Phitsanu Thepthong, US
Consul General Michael Morrow , former mayor Dr Duentemduang na Chiengmai,
and Chiang Mai Friends’ Group president Duenpen Chaladlam, pictured at the
US Independence Day reception, held July1 at the US Consulate in Chiang Mai.
Story by Elena Edwards Pictures by
July 4th, Independence Day, is celebrated across the planet, not just by US
citizens, but also by their friends of varied nationalities and by all who
have read the iconic document ratified and adopted on that first
Independence Day – July 4, 1776.
and activities for kids provided by the organisers ensured that their
parents could enjoy a relaxing 4th of July.
The Declaration of Independence itself was signed by the majority of
delegates on August 2 in the same year, eventually becoming regarded as the
principle through which the United States Constitution should be
interpreted. Up to the present day, the sweeping human rights outlined in
the document’s second sentence have become a legendary model for human
rights supporters worldwide. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness’. Truly, something to celebrate, and to remember.
The celebrations this year began with a glittering reception at the US
Consulate on the somewhat damp evening of July1, hosted by Michael Morrow,
the US Consul-General in Chiang Mai. Guests of honour were the Governor of
Chiang Mai, Amorphan Nimanant and representatives from other consulates in
the city, including the Japanese Consul-General, Junko Yokata. In his
welcoming speech, given in both fluent Thai and in English, Michael Morrow
reminded the guests of the long-term relationship between Thailand and the
USA, and the significance of the Independence Day celebrations across the
world. The Chiang Mai Governor’s reply was given in excellent English as
well as in Thai.
Hot dogs, California wraps, and other
traditional July 4th
goodies were all available at the celebrations.
For the first time this year, the celebrations on the day itself were
organised by the Chiang Mai chapter of the US Veterans of Foreign Wars, and
held on a large field at Chiang Mai’s Municipal Stadium rather than in the
US Consulate’s compound.
Independence Day celebration ends with a sparkling firework display – this
year’s was no exception!
The rain held off until the last 10 minutes and, even then, didn’t dampen
the firework display with which the event ended. Early afternoon arrivals
were greeted by a Thai Army marching band, playing popular Western tunes,
and playing them very well! Children’s’ games were held throughout the
afternoon, allowing parents to have a well-deserved break to celebrate the
special day, with food stalls doing good business throughout the
festivities. The evening’s entertainment included a performance from the
specially invited ‘Black Moss’ guitar and vocalist duo, Syd Moss and his
wife Leona, (both music teachers at American Pacific International School,
APIS), and, by now, both totally recovered from their organising and hosting
at APIS of the Chiang Mai International Schools’ Battle of the Bands and
Idol contests. Possibly no-one was actually counting as they were too busy
having fun, but around 1600 guests from all nationalities had a very
enjoyable afternoon and evening.
Of course, the ‘official’ celebrations weren’t the only festivities held to
mark Independence Day 2009 – the expat community in Chiang Mai is famous for
its ‘any excuse for a party’ mind-set! Another annual celebration was held
on the evening of July 4, way out of town in the beautiful lakeside setting
of CDC Design Resource’s showrooms and offices, where a group of friends got
together for a delicious meal, games, fireworks, a sing-song and a good old
gossip! A perfect way to celebrate, and to remember exactly what was being
Many Chiang Mai companies set up their display
booths at the Independence Day celebrations.
What’s a party without balloons? (Photo by:
The quintessential image for Independence Day…
provided in style by Dr. John French. (Photo by: Elena Edwards)
That well-known clown, ‘Ronald MacDonald’,
presides over the Independence Day celebrations at the Municipal Stadium.
Children of all ages, both Thai and farang,
enjoyed the cartoon characters
and Disney animals provided by a local film animation company.
Young and old alike came to the celebrations of
of the most significant events in the history of America.