The Small Town Summer Parade: An American Tradition
Last night, SubBasket and I went to the parade for the Meridian Dairy Days celebration. I've got some pictures in the extended entry -- it was a lot of fun. While Meridian, Idaho, isn't really a "small town" anymore (it had about 5,000 people in 1980, 35,000 in 2000, and over 60,000 today), the parade had a real neighborly feel to it. For a community that now exports commuters instead of milk, it's nice to see the town's heritage still being celebrated.
That being said -- on to the pictures!
As with all small town parades, this one began with an Honor Guard for the flags:
It was nice to see almost all of the people stand up as the Flag passed, with the men removing their hats. I don't remember seeing that as much in big towns.
Since this was a parade honoring the dairy industry, there were cows:
...and people dressed like cows:
...and cars and trucks dressed like cows:
As is required in all small town parades, there was a line of convertibles carrying pretty young women:
...and pretty slightly-older women wearing nice red hats:
The crowd cheered for everyone, even "The Walking Spine" put together by a local chiropractor:
They especially cheered for the military, both past:
Of course, since all politics is local, we had politicians there. Here's my State Senator, Shirley
Although I'm sure she's a very nice woman, she also seems to be a somewhat rabid black helicopter conspiracy theorist, so I really hope someone runs against her next year. While there aren't any Democrats who actually hold office here in Meridian, some local Democrats did show up to a polite welcome:
Finally, as with all small town parades, there were lots of horses:
And because of the horses, bringing up the rear of the parade -- last but most certainly not least -- was this team of dedicated volunteers:
One of the of the most important measures of success of a small town parade is how much SWAG the average person is able to bring home; here's what we got:
Next year, we're bringing our cute little nephew, and I bet our candy haul will increase exponentially! All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a summer Friday evening, and I hope that if your town has a parade, you'll head out and enjoy it.
Bell-ringer 1805 17 June: Edited to correct the first name of my State Senator.