My Neighborhood’s Memorial Day Parade

I think this was the fourth year my neighborhood has had a Memorial Day parade/festival, and the first that Neil hasn’t been in it. There’s a lot of things I love about my neighborhood, but I really love having a parade right in it. This year, it was the highlight of our Memorial Day weekend, so imagine my shock when a few minutes before the 11 am scheduled parade start, we went to the traditional starting spot: the elementary school a block away from our house, and the area was completely deserted.

I was mortified. Had the time been changed unexpectedly? Had we completely missed the parade? Well, there was nothing to be done but to walk over the parade end point, and catch whatever we could of the festival.

As it turned out, the parade route had simply changed, so we happily waited at the parade route end instead. As usual, it had everything a good Memorial Day parade should have, even though it is still on the small side.

The parade was led by the local ROTC together with representatives from the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines:

There were clowns, both from the local high school’s drama department, and adult professionals. This one delighted Kelly by asking her to blow bubbles for him:

There were two marching bands, including this one:

Behind them was a boat that doubled as a float for the childrens’ choir; the cub scout troop Neil used to belong to; the girl scouts; and neighbors in costumes, decorated wagons or bikes. A new float this year came from Our City Forest, or as I like to think of them, the sane type of environmentalist:

They come from old-skool, Arbor-Day-not-Earth-Day-Gaia-Worship, environmentalism: plant a tree, it cleans the air, gives you shade, and possibly even food you don’t have to drive to. They were there to donate public trees to people willing to plant them in their sidewalk fronting, and interestingly enough, had played part in a local trees-vs.-solar panels conflict. In short, some trees had had to be cut down so some new solar panels wouldn’t be blocked from getting the maximum amount of sun. Our City Forest (and other flora lovers’) argment is trees work 24/7, not only in bright days; trees save energy by providing shade; and trees are a huckuva lot cheaper, efficient, and (duh) biodegradable than solar panels. But you don’t get green cred just for planting a tree, or growing a garden, do you? I was happy to see a green group that wasn’t all about carbon credits, global warming, or government control.

Getting back to the parade: another regular feature is the fancy antique cars. Here’s one that was decked out for the parade as well:

I’d say that’s our local councilwoman Nancy Pyle riding in the car, but I don’t think it is. She was there, however, as she is every year, making a brief speech and awarding the costume contest prizes. She’s up for re-election this year, and I’m voting for her. How could I not, when she nominated Kelly for “most beautiful” in the costume parade two years ago? That’s what local politics is all about! I’d also like to note her opponent didn’t bother to show up for our parade this year, BTW.

It all ended with a fire truck and…a hot dog van. We followed the end of the parde into the back of Parkview Elementary School, where the festivities continued with Memorial Day rememberances and patriotic songs. I said hi to some of my neighbors whom I recognized. This year, the festival had added a crafters’ fair to its set of booths. I bought Kelly a ball from the local high schools’ booster club, but we headed home for lunch instead of buying food there.

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