Wow! What a deliciously lush Fourth-of-July presentation that is, wrapping around today’s Orange County Register:

Never mind the fact that today is only the third of July.

Isn’t that outstanding?

The page is part of a wrap. “Today’s front page is on News 3,” that second reverse bar promises readers.

The story: OCR staffer Theresa Walker and poses the question: What does it mean to be an American? A mixture of photos and short essays from local folks provide a variety of answers. Find the online version here.

And no, the lead art here is not any particular U.S. flag from any of the folks in the story. In fact, that’s from iStock Photo.

Average daily circulation for the Orange County Register is 182,964. The paper is based in Santa Ana, Calif.

It’s a struggle, especially on holidays: What do we put out front?

I don’t know about your papers, but places where I’ve worked have problems with rack sales on holidays. It seems that folks are more interested in hitting the road and braking out their grills or heading for the beach and not so enthusiastic about stopping to buy or read a paper.

I’ve written about this phenomenon extensively over the years — here and here and here — and I’ve shown you a number of newsrooms that decided: If we can’t move single-copy papers on a holiday, then let’s do something extraordinary. Something that’s a talker. That will create buzz.

Like the Virginian-Pilot‘s Memorial Day gravestone rubbing. Or the Rock Hill, S.C., Herald‘s Fourth of July U.S. flag front. Or the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle‘s Christmas Card.

All three of those happen to be from 2008. But they’re great examples of what I’m talking about.

Go here to see some fabulous Independence Day front pages from 2009.

The OCR front page, above, is from the Newseum. Of course.