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A Fourth of Firsts: Part II

This is part two of a three part series covering our recent busy holiday  weekend – if you missed the first part, read about our berry picking adventure.

At the ParadeAfter getting everyone cleaned up, some failed “laundrical surgery” on my raspberry destroyed shirt, and a relatively good night’s sleep, we were ready to meet our nation’s 233rd birthday head-on.  The plans were simple – a parade in Manlius (about 20 minutes away) and then an immediate evacuation to my in-laws house in scenic Waterloo, NY (about an hour away).  It would be a Fourth to remember, for sure.

The parade itself was scheduled for a 10:00 AM start, so we figured leaving at 9 or 9:15 would give us ample time to stake out a spot along the parade route, hopefully somewhere near the beginning to capitalize on the overzealous candy tossers whose distribution estimation abilities were “not so good.”  Naturally, due to a variety of comedic miscues and temper tantrums (mine was especially bad) – we didn’t get on the road until 9:40ish, leaving us with a mad scamper up the road to the parade.  Thankfully the entire police force of upstate New York were involved in parades and weren’t patrolling as I flew through their precincts at what could probably best be described as “light speed.”  We arrived in time and were able to get a parking spot and even a decent curbside vantage point.

We met up with my boss and his family (they live down the street from the parade) and settled in for what would turn out to be a pretty lengthy display of fire trucks, marching bands, church floats, nuclear missiles on trucks and expressionless lock-stepping Soviet soldiers who, in unison, efficiently distributed Tootsie Rolls from under their fur hats.  We had Justine set up in her Kelty backpack, which provided a very convenient viewing stand for her to watch and wave to the folks passing by in front of her.  It was great for us too, because it kept her from blithely wandering into the path of the oncoming fire trucks or trying to fling herself into one of the tubas from the Police and Fire band.

Parade! Parade!We were especially amazed by the volume of candy that this parade generated.  I’ve been to many a parade before, but I’ve never seen anything close to the mountains of Tootsie Rolls, Laffy Taffy, lollipops and chocolate covered grasshoppers that came flying in our general direction.  For the most part, the folks winging this stuff at us followed standard candy-tossing protocol, flinging their wares down and away from the parade route so as not to entice the waiting throngs of children to run dead-on into the “St. Ann’s Truckin’ Choir” flatbed.  Unfortunately a few folks instead decided to distribute in a more aerial fashion, and rained Tootsie Rolls down upon our hapless daughter, who didn’t take kindly to the bombardment and let loose her only real tears of the affair.

All in all, it was a solid parade, if a bit unorganized.  It also seemed to drag on a bit, which may have just been how it appeared to me now that I have a child with a relatively short attention span.  The highlight for me, besides of course the delight of watching Justine sneer at elected officials I didn’t vote for, was the very end of the parade.  The last “division” so to speak was the antique cars, a staple of any good parade.  After the majority of the old clunkers made their way past, it became evident that the final car in the parade wasn’t moving.  It had stalled out, and they couldn’t get it started again.

Thus the final image of the hour and a half parade is three guys pushing a very old, wood-paneled Chevy station wagon down the parade route, to the cheers and laughter of all in attendance.

With Justine’s first parade now in the books, we gathered our things, said goodbye to our friends and headed for the car, bound for Waterloo and a date.  With a boat.

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  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com/ SurprisedMom

    Sounds like it was a heck of a parade. Too bad Justine had to experience the candy missles. I'm glad the New York State Police were involved with the parades and too busy to see your light speed journey through their towns. They really hate when you travel at that speed. I haven't been to a parade since the kids were young. I wonder if I would find them interesting without watching for their reactions.

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com/ SurprisedMom

    Sounds like it was a heck of a parade. Too bad Justine had to experience the candy missles. I'm glad the New York State Police were involved with the parades and too busy to see your light speed journey through their towns. They really hate when you travel at that speed. I haven't been to a parade since the kids were young. I wonder if I would find them interesting without watching for their reactions.