Thursday, July 8, 2010

Going to a parade

My Fourth of July celebration is rarely complete without a parade, and this year was no exception. The plan was to join my sister and her family for some Cannon Falls parade fun. We were able to enjoy it in spite of the rain, which honestly didn’t seem to affect any parade goers, including myself. The streets were lined with lots of smiling, happy people. The colorful sea of umbrellas and canopies added a delightful new feature to the festivities. As expected, children were seated close to the curbs totally unaffected by the clouds and rain, focusing only on the hopeful anticipation of filling their now empty bags with candy from the parade participants.

The police sirens and the sound of the timed steps of the VFW drill team made me hope we were close to locating my sister. For a second, I thought we might actually be in this parade since the parade sounds were getting closer and closer. I must admit that being in a parade is something I always wanted to do. Naturally, my dream involved being some sort of queen, complete with crown and white gloves, doing the queen wave on the most beautiful float in the parade. Yet in reality, I would be just as happy sitting on the back of an old 1984 pickup truck with a big sign that says, “Be the Change.” I chuckle just thinking about the possibility of handing out candy to excited kids, doing a wave all my own and watching everyone’s face as they turn to the person next to them saying, “What is Be the Change?”

There is nothing quite like a parade. From beginning to end, the sights and sounds along the route take you to a place of sensory euphoria from the music of the marching bands, the click-clack of horses, the loud sirens of various fire engines and the mini-cars that screech as they dart in and out. It provides a thrill and excitement for the young, as well as the young at heart. If you haven’t been to a parade yet this year or haven’t gone to one in many years, let me encourage you to go, especially if you can share the parade experience with young kids. Their enthusiasm at a parade is absolutely contagious -sure to spark some of your own.

Who knows, one day you might see me in a parade with that Be the Change sign. I hope that because of this blog, you will be able to tell the person sitting next to you what Be the Change means. More than likely I won’t be wearing a crown though, not visibly anyway, but I will for sure throw you some candy!

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