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Tradition is Customary for American New Year's Eve

Americans have always been creatures of tradition. We celebrate, honor, and respect those collective customs that have been passed down through generations. In particular, ringing in the New Year has always been one of America’s most predominant celebrations; steeped in ancient rituals but usually given a modern twist.

For example, the wistful song, Auld Lang Syne, is a tune that practically all Americans and their English-speaking cousins sing while having no idea what it is they are singing! Auld Lang Syne translates as “old long since” and basically means “times gone by” or “for old time’s sake.” Originally an old Scottish folk tune with words written and published by poet Robert Burns in 1796, the song, a reflective ballad that wonders whether old friends and memories would be forgotten, was brought to America by Scottish immigrants. It really became a staple of New Year’s Eve thanks to modern culture, specifically big bands and media. Noted bandleader, Guy Lombardo, and his orchestra, the Royal Canadians, played the song at midnight in New York City in 1929 and continued their version of the song every New Year’s Eve until 1976. Broadcast first on the radio and then on television, Americans have since embraced the tradition of singing Auld Lang Syne on the stroke of midnight along with the ritual kiss to ward off loneliness for the coming year.

Another famous New Year’s Eve tradition in the United States is the dropping of the Ball in Times Square, New York City at 11:59pm. This renowned technique of counting down the final minutes in the old year began in...

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Special Thanks to All Our July 2013 Stand and Tent Partners!

As the fireworks season winds down, we want to take the opportunity to thank all of our wonderful Stand and Tent partners all over the country. The vast majority of our Stand and Tent operators are non-profits: school clubs, civic groups, community organizations, etc. In other words, these hardworking folks are your neighbors! In order to raise funds for their groups, our nonprofit partners put in a lot of time and energy attending TNT University, becoming knowledgeable about TNT products, working long hours setting up their location displays, and, finally, waiting on customers during the fireworks season with a friendly efficiency that makes us proud to have them as TNT representatives!

Of course, most of our Stand and Tent operators can attest to the fact that selling fireworks can be lots of fun! Take a look at our Facebook page for some wonderful examples of the creativity of many of the TNT nonprofits and how much they are enjoying attracting and waiting on customers! We get a real kick every year observing the entertaining ingenuity of these inspiring groups. And we know their customers appreciate it as well!

So a great big shout out goes to all Stand and Tent operators who participated in TNT’s Fundraising Program this year! Great job, guys! We hope to see you again next year!

So would you like to have loads of fun while raising funds for your particular nonprofit organization? You can be a part of the July 4, 2014 excitement by going to our Fundraising page and filling out the request form. A...

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Historical Facts About Old Glory and National Flag Day

To commemorate the adoption of the United States Flag, this week is National Flag Week, culminating with National Flag Day on June 14. During this week, the US Flag should be on display on all government buildings and all US citizens are encouraged to fly Old Glory as well.

Here are some interesting historical facts about Flag Day:

  • On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution that stated, “The flag of the United States shall be of thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white in a blue field, representing the new Constellation.” The white signifies purity and innocence, the red characterizes hardiness and valor, and the blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

  • An executive order by President James Monroe in 1818 provided that a new star was to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of a new state.

  • The common nickname for the flag, “Old Glory” was given to a flag presented to Captain William Driver in the 1820s to be flown from his ship’s mast. Driver’s “Old Glory” survived a voyage around the world, as well as attempts by the Confederacy to capture it during the Civil War. Federal troops embraced “Old Glory” as a symbol and its fame spread nation-wide. The original “Old Glory” still exists today at the Smithsonian.

  • The first unofficial Flag Day took place in 1861 in Hartford, CT, but did not catch on nationally.

  • After decades of local celebrations, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that June 14 would be National Flag Day. ...

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Commemorating Memorial Day: Did You Know…?

On Monday, May 27, we honor those men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have died in service to their country. But did you know these interesting facts about Memorial Day?

  • Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It originated right after the Civil War to honor those who had died for the North and the South by decorating their graves with flowers.

  • The name Decoration Day gradually became Memorial Day, although it did not become the official name until declared by federal law in 1967.

  • Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 which moved the holiday from its traditional date to the last Monday in May, thereby creating a three-day weekend.

  • On Memorial Day, the United States flag is to be raised smartly in the morning to the top of the flagpole and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it should remain until noon. It is then raised to full-staff until the end of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

  • Veterans groups, particularly the Veterans of Foreign Wars, remain vigorous in their campaign to return Memorial Day to its original date of May 30, maintaining that “changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has...

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THE JEFF DROPO RUN 4 KIDS

For the past five years, TNT Fireworks has been honored to host the Jeff Dropo Run 4 Kids to benefit Camp Smile-A-Mile, a non-profit organization in Alabama for children who have or have had cancer. Held every second Saturday in May, this special fundraiser allows children to “just be kids” as they participate in fun activities and create unforgettable memories without worrying about pain, hospitals, shots, chemo, etc. All programs at this year-round camp are specifically adapted to meet the needs of children and young adults with cancer, along with providing special support for their families.

The idea for the race began as a loving remembrance of our extraordinary friend and co-worker, Jeff Dropo, who lost his courageous battle with cancer in 2008. Jeff’s warm smile and encouraging nature is still sorely missed by everyone at TNT. Sponsoring a run for children with cancer in Jeff’s name seemed the natural thing to do since his strength and spirit is an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

From the beginning, the Jeff Dropo Run 4 Kids has been an unqualified success! This year was the special fifth anniversary of the run and it surpassed all our expectations! Each year our goal is to send just 1 more child to Camp SAM. This year we were able to send 8 more to camp than last year! With the help of our TNT family, sponsors, and 225 runners (up from 195 last year), donations exceeded $50,000!

We want to offer special thanks and kudos to some wonderful people for their selfless contributions in making the JDR4K another triumph this year: Florence...

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