What we’re wearing to the 36th annual Southampton Fresh Air Home’s American Picnic

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We are readying ourselves for the 4th of July holiday when we come together to honor our freedom, fought and won centuries ago. In a letter John Quincy Adam wrote to his wife Abigail upon signing the Declaration of Independence, he foretells the method of celebrations that continue today.  Only the date was off by two days as the document awaited ratification.

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”



And that great fanfare is how the Southampton Fresh Air Home has been celebrating for the last 35 years. This year’s An American Picnic, their 36th annual, with Fireworks by Grucci, is made possible by gracious hosts Danielle and David Ganek.



In their 122nd year Southampton Fresh Air Home offers year-round recreational and educational programs for children and young adults with physical disabilities. They are located on four beautiful acres in the heart of Southampton and are an integral part of the community there.


Tap Stephenson, Grace Mahoney, Emily Chen Mahoney, Tom Mahoney, and hosts Danielle and David Ganek.



An American Picnic is truly a family affair as new generations take part in the fun-filled carnival with games, stilt walkers, magicians, music, dancing and the spectacular fireworks display over Shinnecock Bay by the world famous Grucci Fireworks. The family pyrotechnic business began in 1850 in Angelo Lanzetta, Italy and was brought to Long Island in 1870.  Today, they are the most recognizable global entertainment company, earning a Guinness World Record for “Largest Fireworks Display.”


Saudi Arabia National Day. During the celebrations, the largest fireworks display in multiple cities was achieved as the display consisted of 962,168 fireworks.

According to the American Pyrotechnic Association, early U.S. settlers brought their love of fireworks with them to the New World and fireworks were part of the very first Independence Day.


Fireworks over Shinnecock Bay.

L. to r.: Ashton Wu, Ashley Wu, Victor Wu, and Wilhemina Wu; Lindsey Peers, Elle Peers, Ian Peers, Vivi Peers, and Luke Peers.
The Novak family.

For our what to wear looks, Hilary goes all-American with her choice of Jeans and tops. “Crisp whites and blues are the colors of summer, especially by the sea. And what a perfect event to break out your fresh denim of the season. Net-a-porter.com has lots to offer for you 4th of July looks, and if you live in New York, you get same-day delivery. Whether you sport a flowy blouse, a structured top or a peasant blouse, you will be set to celebrate at the American Picnic in style.”


Tops:  Emilia Wickstead Blouse $810  /  Tove Navy Strapless Top $985  / Savannah Morrow Blouse $350   Jeans:  Mother Light Wash Jeans $270  /  Veronica Beard White Jeans $250  /  Agolde Dark Wash Jeans $200   Bags:  Loewe Straw Bag $650  /  Asha Navy Rattan Clutch $295   Shoes:  Christian Louboutin Leather Wedge $875  /  Porte & Paire Leather Espadrilles $325   Accessories:  Celine Oval Sunglasses $510  /  Asha Navy Earrings $150  /  Asha White Earrings $350

L. to r.: Ann Yawney; Sheree Chiou and Ella Kirschner.

While KK favors zip-and-go dresses, such fun for summer parties. At Saks.com they had all sorts of styles in the bright shades of red, white & blue. Cut Outs are trending strong this summer as are Dropped Sleeves. Denim is perennially popular and we found some footwear that can maneuver very well on a grass lawn. The earrings from ASHA by ADM add a little more flair and carry your essentials in an Adriana Castro chicly woven tote.


Dresses:  Veronica Beard Striped Dress $398  /  Shoshanna Embroidered Dress $440  /  Reiss Red Printed Dress $400  /  Elisamama Blue Ruffle Set $300  /  Borgo de Nor Red Mini Dress $325  Shoes:  Castañer Denim Wedges $175  /  Larroudé Denim Heels $315  /  Veronica Beard Platforms $185   Bag:  Adriana Castro Blue Tote $785   Accessories:  Asha Mother of Pearl Earrings $395  /  Gucci Round Sunglasses $565  /  Asha Navy Flower Earrings $150

L. to r.: Steve Hessler, McLean Hessler, Shaughnessy Hessler, and Stephanie Hessler; Chris Robinson, Claire Robinson, Cari Robinson, and Chloe Robinson.

Tali Satchu, Olivia Kramer, Alexa Marks, Amanda Tabet, and Manon Astier.

As we celebrate our independence and look back at the history of our great nation, I recall an article on a friend’s Facebook page years ago:

What happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence? Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. 12 had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the revolutionary army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the revolutionary war. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They had security, but they valued liberty more.

Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: “For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

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