Sunday, July 3, 2011

Parades, Anyone?

by Leann

My husband and I have lived in our small suburban Texas town for 32 years. One notable event is the 4th of July Parade. We have the distinction of having the longest running (uninterrupted) Independence Day parade in the United States. Seems many cities and towns suspended their parades during the world wars, but not our home town. It's a very proud day and we even had ABC news here one year. The pictures below are floats passing our library.

There's a truck raffle, a fair with plenty of food in the park after the parade ends. Then there's a spectacular fireworks display in the evening. We have floats (and of course awards for the best) bands and fire engines from all over, local dance teams, gymnasts, and more. Plus a whole town sitting along the main street to watch the festivities. Celebrations like ours go on all over America and we all probably believe ours is the best. We never missed a parade while our children were growing up, mostly because they were always IN the parade. But the last few years, we haven't gone the three blocks down our street to watch.

Problem is, July 4th is hotter than a depot stove around here. I remember one year my sister and her kids visited from Seattle on that day. They nearly melted in the heat. Not a fun experience when you're used to 60's and 70's and most likely rain on the 4th. They never came back to visit in the summer again, that I can remember. Then there was the year my daughter's gymnastics's group decided to do cartwheels down the street during the parade. I was waiting at the end of the route to pick her up and she was as red as a strawberry. Her temperature, it turned out, was 104! She didn't do another parade where cartwheels were involved.

In later years, my son and daughter participated as band and dance team members. Do you know what it's like to wear a band uniform or Lycra while marching in 100 degree weather? They grew to dislike the 4th of July parade just a bit. But to this day, I know they are proud they celebrated such an important holiday and created so many memories. If they are home on the 4th these days, they never miss the fireworks, even if they watch from the roof of our garage. Despite our drought, the city plans on still having fireworks even though other towns have banned them this year. I think the city wants to keep that record intact, too.Happy independence, everyone! What's your celebration going to look like?