Wing_SketchOn any given Fourth of July, you could find me sitting in the backyard, typically on our hammock, waiting for my parents to finish barbecuing and my mother to not-so-subtly ring our dinner bell (yes, she bought a dinner bell for our back porch). Honestly, it’s not too much different than any other given summer night, with the exception of the random fireworks shows from nearby backyards. This Fourth of July would be my first “real” Fourth of July (no offense, Mom and Dad!).

My excitement could only be compared my emotions during the days leading up to my Sweet 16 some five years ago (thank you, TimeHop, for the friendly reminder), but I was hoping that I wouldn’t faint this time. I constantly checked the weather, shopped M Street for the perfect additions to my American-inspired outfit, and imagined just how great the day would be.

Following Safeway’s National Capital Barbecue Battle this past weekend, barbecue has been on my mind. Although classic D.C. summer weather made Saturday a bit of a washout, I still had enough time to experience all five blocks of the festival before seeking immediate shelter in the free food tent that spanned a solid half of a block. I ate every free sample in sight, tried (and miserably failed) to win some prizes, and walked away with enough snacks to last me at least a week (I snack a lot), yet I still craved more barbecue. Although I already mentally planned on returning next year to Safeway’s National Capital Barbecue Battle, I couldn’t wait that long.

Thursday after work, my friend Maeve and I decided to start celebrating America a little early on our way home. Every day, we pass by the Bethesda Community Store and BBQ, roll down our windows, and smell the delicious barbecue coming from the smoker. Since it was pay day and almost America’s birthday, we finally stopped. What a better way to kick off the weekend festivities than with barbecue?

Once we arrived home, the preparations were in full swing. As a self-proclaimed queen of Google Calendar and Drive, I had all of my friends’ travel plans written down and Google Docs galore with preliminary itineraries and, most importantly, menus. I promise that my “preliminary itineraries” were filled with fun — running to Astro Doughnuts, tanning at Volta Pool and of course, barbecuing.

Our house was going to double in occupancy over the weekend, and out-of-town Georgetown friends were finding their way back to the Hilltop. Between the impending reunions and excitement over the Fourth of July, I could barely focus on my Google Docs and ended up being (somewhat) spontaneous.

In the end, nothing mattered more than the company I was surrounded with. However, the barbecue and view of the fireworks from the Village A rooftops weren’t half bad either.

Christina Wing is a rising senior in the McDonough School of Business. Living like a Local appears every other Sunday at


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