One of our favorite neighborhood traditions is the annual Memorial Day parade. It begins just half a block from our house, on the street just behind the nearby elementary school and winds for about a mile past our local playground and to another elementary school. Children from both schools comprise a choir that sings patriotic songs at the festival after the parade, and the ROTC, marching band, and performing arts groups from our local middle schools and high schools participate as well. I’ve blogged about it before, with comprehensive pictures, so I’m just inserting some highlights from this year’s event.
As usual, our children participated in the parade. Kelly outgrew her Wonder Woman outfit, but we still managed to outfit her in red, white and blue, and put an American flag on her tricycle:
Neil marched with the boy scouts. You can find him here as the boy with the glasses just behind the non-uniformed parents:
One of the neat things about the parade is seeing your neighbors and friends participating. One of the moms I used to hang out with before Neil went to school is choir director of the elementary schools’ choir, and walked alongside the float with the children in it. Our childrens’ favorite baby sitter was in a dance troupe that performed along the route, and later at the festival. And a former teacher from Neil’s school always decks herself and her daughter up in red, white and blue glittery strands.
Naturally, we had the San Jose mounted police and the fire department participating:
We had a few new additions to our usual set of marching bands, people in uniform, dancers and clowns. Sharkie, the mascot from our local sports team, the San Jose Sharks, joined us on a Segway:
And the line of classic cars included one with beauty queens:
The festival opened with a speech about the origins, history and significance of Memorial Day by an Air Force Chief Master Sargeant, followed by the ROTC color guard presenting (and later, retiring) the flag and a program of patriotic music. Neil’s cub scout troop won the costume award for “most original.” I think the organizers wanted to give them some ribbon, but most patriotic and cutest were already taken. During the entertainment portion, I was surprised how good the Oak Grove High School jazz band was. Kelly and Neil played on the playground, and with his friends, respectively, until about 2, when we went home to splash in the pool.