There are some great Independence Day traditions: baseball, family get-togethers, community festivals. We here in the QCs don't do the Independence Day parade very well, though. Now, the Soviet Union-there was a bunch that could do up a proper parade!
Oh sure, they could only produce one roll of toilet paper for perhaps 10,000 people, but if you need a real, honest-to-God, big-boy parade, you'd have to call the guy who organized the annual May Day spectacle in Moscow.
Now, our Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day is pretty darn cool. The work those people put into the floats (decorating them with flowers, seeds, and other natural materials) is astounding!
The local parade doesn't have big displays or cool floats, however.
TBH's mom loves parades for whatever reason. I suppose it's because back in the day there wasn't all that much to do, and people had simpler tastes. She did, in her youth, see a few (old!) Civil War vets, and that's a great story to tell. That's 150 years past, but in a way, three generations removed. Doesn't seem like such a distant event when put in those terms. But I digress.
Since Bob (her companion) died, we decided to take her to the 4th of July parade. Now, I don't mind spending the time-but the logistics of carting around someone in their early 90s can be complicated. We got to the parade route two hours early. Any later and it's a hike to the route. She doesn't see too well, so you have to get a spot right on the curb of the street. Oh, and make sure it's shady the whole time because those old Scandinavian types got no appreciable melanin and they burn easily. Also, need to find a spot close to a restroom. The choice of spots available goes down tremendously. Those of you with older relatives understand.
The first part of the parade was a series of firetrucks from the local communities. Very nice-and I have great respect of firefighters, most of whom in smaller towns are volunteer-but I don't know if I need six firetrucks in a row. There was one antique that the local firefighter's union restored, which looked right sharp. Other than that, all the fire engines look about the same.
Next were the local vet's groups. The color guards for the Vietnam Vets and Hispanic-American Vets here I'll put up against any other color guard outfits out there-they're crisp, they march in time, and they look like they could go out and fight today-not bad for guys in their 60s! Even had a couple of World War II vets in restored vehicles. Those guys are going away fast now, and before too long they'll all have passed.
The middle of the parade is local businesses and politicians and wannabe politicians. Oddly enough, most of the politicians were noticeable by their absence. Our local representative to Congress, a Republican, came by and shook TBH's hand. I told him to get his arse back to work. Country's drowning in debt and the economy sucks and you've got time to be fucknuckling around out here instead of being in Washington. Next was the state senator, a Democrat, the
The worst part of the parade is that everyone in the parade tosses candy to the kids. Consequently, the kids (and worse, their parents, who in most of these cases are roughly the size of a dressed-out bull moose) get up in front of those of us who sat around looking at nothing for two hours before the damn parade started! Now we can't see squat. To be fair, if you ask, they'll usually move-but there's always that ten percent who are stone-cold clueless. The kids-OK, really not much problem with them. They're generally small enough to see over or around. When a handful of candy gets tossed to the street, the scene is reminiscent of a potato-chip truck getting tipped over in Mogadishu. A feeding frenzy. You can replicate this by going to a zoo or aquarium. Go to the feeding pond and buy a handful of fish food pellets and toss them into the water. The carp or goldfish or whatever react just the same as the kids. Really, we're hip deep in candy and gum here. I don't know why the frenzy.
Finally, the equestrian team from some Hispanic group here did some fancy riding. They were pretty good and had some fearsome costumes.
So to sum up: First 1/3 rd of the parade OK. Last group OK. Rest was a waste of time, though TBH's mom enjoyed the show. Guess the day's objective was met.
Back to the grind tomorrow. If the 4th were Monday or Thursday, we'd have gotten a four-day weekend. Since it's on Monday-three-day weekend. That's the way it goes, I suppose.