The Parade

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee

 

I love parades; I always have. I love the floats, I love the military guys with all their flags, I love the Corn Queen’s Court waving from the backs of convertibles. Growing up in St. Louis, we went to see the Shriners’ parade every year; the flowers, the clowns, the bands – I adored it all. I even love the parade every afternoon at the State Fair.

So it was fortuitous that twenty-five years ago, I bought a house in Tangletown. This is the one neighborhood in Minneapolis that defies the grid layout that the rest of the city enjoys.  And it is also one of the neighborhoods that has an annual Fourth of July parade.

We gather at Washburn High School – everybody in their red, white and blue attire. Kids decorate their bikes, trikes, scooters and wagons for the parade. Dogs wear their best festive bandanas and there are always balloons galore. The fire engine arrives and the fire fighters pose for photos with the excited kids. Then the engine starts up, someone usually has John Souza on a boom box and we head out, weaving our way through the streets of Tangletown.  Neighbors who aren’t parading sit on their porches or front steps and wave as we go by.  After 6-8 blocks, we end up at Fuller Park where we have a fabulous party. Games and prizes for the kids, a band, kegs of root beer, hot dogs. Everybody brings their blankets and picnic lunches.

It’s a wonderful way to begin celebrating the Fourth – laidback and fun. And close to home!

How would you design your parade float?

93 thoughts on “The Parade”

  1. Perfect resurrection wessew. I had forgotten. Was that 66? I remember a bonanza episode with dankeschoen featured with Wayne Newton as a cowboy riding through Carson city

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        1. That’s the episode
          Thanks
          At the very end of the show they threw the hit song dankeschoen in and acted like it wasn’t so cool I couldn’t believe it
          Dankeschoen right ther on bonanza
          I’m having trouble with YouTube and my iPad
          Laptop died fried
          Officially proclaimed dead yesterday
          I will be sprinkling nano dust over my warehouse later this week

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  2. I was thinking a lovin spoonful float with hot town summer in the city and what a day for a daydream
    Initial float design envisioned actual sod to bury your face in the new mowed lawn but upon further reflection I’m going synthetic turf unless Bachmans want to sponsor and help,assemble.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. The son of my grandfather’s cousin from Jamestown, ND married lawrence Welk’s daughter, Shirley.

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        1. Of course it would. It would go nicely with my model of an internal combustion engine (4 cylinder) and my Tesla finger puppet. 🙂

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    My own float? All my memories of parades are heavily agricultural, having grown up in farm country. The floats were also ag oriented. My float would need to be a cross of HEE HAW and the Grand Ole Opry, complete with me in a Minnie Pearl Hat.

    After 6th grade I was always in the marching band, so what I remember is watching the drum major, who was an excellent, high stepping showman, and the red back of the uniforms in front of me.

    My participation in blog-writing and reply posts will be erratic for a while. We have to move out of our house Saturday to have a major repair on our house–repairing water damage from ice dams and a leaky furnace humidifier valve which sprayed water between the basement ceiling and upper floor. Groan. So as long as we are doing this, we will do a remodeling project as well. Who knows what this will bring? Once we are out of the house, the only thing I may have to do is write and reply. We will see?

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        1. Floor with mold (allergy), upstairs ceiling resurface due to ice dams, new wood floor, egress window in basement.

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  4. I was a junior or senior class advisor for 17 years, a part of which was being a major chaperone for the evening and weekend build in someone’s garage which could be unfun not on school turf and putting up with and settling cat fights. Old girl wars would come out in the choosing a design option. I love parades but those floats. Ish. They quit right after I quit teaching.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mine would be a Bookmobile float. There would be rows of low bookshelves along the sides with spines facing out. You pick one and run it under the scanner along with your library card as the float slowly glides by. Librarians dressed as famous authors would wave

    Liked by 8 people

  6. In honor of many hot summer parades marching in a wool band uniform, I would put that band on a float with a cold water fountain to keep us cool. One parade in particular sticks in my memory: MN Centennial parade in St. Paul, something near 100 degrees. People from the sidelines running into the band with spirits of ammonia to keep kids from passing out. Then the ride back north I took my white buck shoes off and could not get them back on for swollen feet.
    I used to love watching the parades when there were several marching bands. Now the local parades seem to feature little more than fire engines, tow trucks and emergency vehicles. Oh, and politicians.
    I skipped the Moose Lake parade this year. (name dropping warning): in the eighties and nineties, I would stand with Robert & Ruth Bly to watch, then go with them to the local Methodist church for sloppy joes and pie. Miss those days.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good morning. When I was in high school I helped a friend turn his small Nash Metropolitan convertible into a float to drive in a parade. I think it might have been the school home coming parade. The name of the school mascot was the Vikings. We put the top down on the car and set a big home made Viking head on top of the driver’s compartment.

    My favorite floats are the big flower covered ones in the Rose Bowl parade. How about a Rose Bowl style float featuring a selection of colorful insects? That would be my choice due my personal interest in bugs of all kinds.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. In high school I was a theatre geek. One homecoming we made an effigy of the other teams quarterback, set him on the back of the convertible and then put a big white cast on his leg. Big sign said “Break a leg!”. We won a prize for our silliness.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Two Harbors had July 4 parade like that, starting with kids who got judged for costume and bike etc. design. TH still has every Wed in the summer a city band concert in their rotten band shell people, some people, do not want to spend the $ to replace. Such a fun small town tradition. It would be sad to see it die. I used to use the band shell for melodramas in the park on July Friday’s. Then my kids and their friends. A measure of human nature was how something harmless which cost nothing and raised food for the food shelve would draw complaints.

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  10. MY parade float? Hmmmm. Like the books idea. Maybe a painting or carving float. Carving would be better for the third dimension. Maybe of Gooseberry or Split Rock or a winter walk up Split Rock River or of the Superior Hiking trail. Maybe portraying Christians, Jews, Muslims, and atheists in peace with each other. My MN grand kids say Harry Potter. My wife says never again. She used to do children’s library nonfloats. Her and lots of kids in costumes, sort of like herding Baboons.
    Mr. Tuxedo and I bought a Terry Pratchett book to share, funny edgy sort of Harry Potter tale. The Wizards librarian turned himself into a orangutan for the long arms to manage books, especially the violent or rebellious ones.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I’m not crazy about floats, I much prefer marching bands and weird drill teams. I’ve seen some briefcase or lawnmower drill teams that were a hoot.

    Our school participated in the West Side annual Cinco de Mayo parade all the years I worked there, and it was mandatory fun. Our students made these huge puppets (think Heart of the Beast); they were colorful and fun and got a lot of attention.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like brass bands and that includes marching bands but when I was in high school, marching band spelled the end of my band career. I had happily been in school band since fifth grade but when I got to high school, band meant marching band. After one year of marching in those ridiculous wool uniforms in sweltering heat while being yelled at for one’s marching, not one’s playing, I decided, “I don’t need this” and quit band. I don’t respond well to yelling.
      Still. I harbor the wish that someday I can be part of a marching band performing Sousa’s Liberty Bell March.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have a baritone horn I bought on eBay. I have played it enough to convince myself I could get my chops back if I could discipline myself to practice regularly. I would have to work on it a year or so before I felt ready to seek out a community band.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. I heard a story once, possibly/probably apocryphal, about a small Minnesota town with an annual parade where, because of the orientation of Main Street, one side was always sunny and hot and one side shady and cool. The parade crowd in this town wasn’t so large that both sides of the street were packed and gradually the spectators all migrated to the shady side. Eventually, because of this, the parade floats were only decorated on one side, like stage sets, and so it became possible, should one wish, to view the parade from “backstage”.
    Have you ever heard this story?

    Liked by 5 people

  13. My float could have a wild west theme with dancing cowboys and guys doing roap
    tricks- just like in the musical Oklahoma.

    I marched in many parades in the summer and it was often really hot . I was a percussionist and had to play the whole parade route . The equipment was heavy.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. No, Bill, but the tiny town near our cabin had a distinctive parade. The town was officially 232 people, but that count was high because it included some folks living in the bush around town. Their annual parade involved enough “floats” and kids on bicycles and a pretty girl in a Model T and a few loose dogs with flowers on their collars. Put the whole thing together, and it didn’t stretch more than half a city block. And the audience (which included just about everyone who wasn’t in the parade) was really about the same size. If the paraders had marched past the audience, the whole parade would have lasted about two minutes So everyone lined up on the southeast end of town and then marched together–the performers and the audience–down to the town marina.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. In sleepy eye it is about 45 minutes and does a big U. If you watch in the first block, walk three blocks over and see almost all of it again.

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  15. OT pop quiz: 46 year old close family friend went the dr. last week. Her incorrect self diagnosis was beginnings of menopause. Complete this story for ten points.

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      1. I am sure it will not be soon enough for her. She has children aged 16 to 21.
        Daughter has a 41 year old friend who could not get pregnant but did now. They adopted two Ethiopian children as infants. They posted pix of those kids faces when they told them. Charming..

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Our small local college has a homecoming parade in the fall, and often are at a loss for enough floats. One year they rounded up past homecoming royalty, some pretty elderly, and put them in convertibles with placards stating “Fomer Homecoming Queen”. It struck me as quite funny for some reason.

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    1. I was co chair of celebration of centennial of first shipment of it on ore in MN. One float of an excellent long parade was many past Miss Two Harbors. It was a cat fight the whole way, according two of them echo agreed only when pressured. One of them got off half way through. Not knowing that, it still seemed funny in an of itself.

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  17. Two other great parades we’ve attended were because of the Food Network and a show called “Food Festivals”. First was the Children’s Blueberry Parade in Machias, Maine that we attended as part of their annual blueberry festival. Lots of kids on bikes and being pulled in decorated wagons as well as horses and military guys.

    The other great parade was the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival parade in Little Chute, Wisconsin – which started right after the Cheddar Chase. Local bands, clowns, Cheese Queen and her court on the backs of convertibles.

    Small towns do the best parades!

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  18. The u of m marching band does small town parades. They split up in groups of about 40 and rotate around. They march in tshirts and shorts. They come every 3-4 years to Sleepy Eye. They are a blast. They do several genres and stop and mix with the crowd. Bring out kids to play cymbals or drums. They are just wonderful.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. The chubby old Shriners with their fat dimply knees sticking out of the little cars is hilarious, as many of them realize. But if you have ever seen them stop and salute a handicapped child or old person, you will love them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have never participated but have watched. “They” claim that the goal is to center the festivities around the river rather than around the lakes. But the only river events I see on the schedule are waterskiiers and fireworks.
        Worse yet, they have also canned the sand sculpture contest. I loved both the expert and amateur entrants.

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      1. i think its an opportunity for a meetup gorup to restart all the stuff that the minneapolis board of bossy funspoilers canceled because they were given the power to decide.
        i wouold guess that if someone applied to hold a milk carton race and got the permit they vcould get 100 people to participate. get summit beer and the brew pubs to sponser teams.
        castle boilding on thomas beach. sign up the teams from parade of homes and the fire departments of all the suburbs to see who is really the best
        i hate public committees . i wont be heading up anything soon but ill bet someone would do it.
        clyde?

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  20. I’m not much of a parade or a float person, but assuming it would be a summer day and in homage to the word “float,” (and because I am obsessed with food today) I would make it a Float of Floats.

    Root Beer Floats, for sure, but also some that incorporate summer fruits such as Raspberry Floats, Blueberry Floats, and others. Also Key Lime Floats and the Australian Spider (vanilla ice cream with lemonade). The float would drive slowly in order to be able to hand out the floats. I predict this would be very popular.

    Liked by 7 people

  21. I can’t recall ever having been to a parade, but if I were to design one, I’d chose the rainbow theme plus have it include the races and ages of many people. They’re part of the rainbow, too, not just gays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No St. Patrick’s Day parades?

      When I worked in downtown St. Paul, we’d time our lunch hour so we could watch the parade. All those crazies marching in the parade with their hair and poodles dyed green. What a spectacle.

      I would have thought that someone who enjoys dressing up for Christmas would have found a way to indulge that passion. It’s not too late, Cb; find yourself a parade and join in.

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  22. I remember in high school being on some organization’s Float Crew for the Homecoming parade – spray painting something, stuffing Kleenex into chicken wire – who knew that’s how they got the floats to look like that?

    My favorite parade ever is the May Day one at Powderhorn – not floats so much, but the Heart of the Beast puppets, all kinds of socially conscious groups carrying their signs, guys riding on those tall unicycles, a dragon (I got to be one of the dragon segments way back in 1979)… followed of course by the Pageant across the lake. The parade always brings me to tears.

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  23. Hi,
    We were often called upon to provide the wagon for the float. We always kept one old flatbed wagon just for that.
    And the one year I was going to design the float for a local theater was the year daughter was born. And dealing with her Downs Syndrome I backed out of the float design.
    Drove the truck pulling the wagon in a few parades.

    My float would have some fancy lighting of course.
    …don’t know what beyond that… but the lighting would be cool!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. im remembering my dad taking us to a parade when we were little kids and it had horse riders in coowboy garb and convertables and bands and we thought it was great. i’ m sure we ran around and made noise and when he wanted to go we asked why. i hate parades was his response. and we never went again. i dont know what he had gainst parades.
    i went out to california in the old hippy van back in 71 or so and the guy i was traveling with kew someone in pasadina and we went to get the inside poop on the rose bowl parade they knew just the spot and all we had to do was sleep out on the street all night. there wasnt any question that this was the correct thing to do. i wondered what the attraction was. we woke up in the morning and it was a first class event. roses by the gajillions done on float after float after flaot. w ehad the best seats int he route because these people knew where to be and it was a highlight. my highschool band was there unbeknownst to me before they turned the corner and were the next thing to be coming at us down the street. we knew the high school band was national quality stuff. the band leader was a maniac straight out of animal house or police acadamy or some such archatype. he was the ocd band director that caused bill to drop band. my drummer was his star percussionist and even though my buddy was a hippy he was respected and revered by the band leader. we shouted “hey earl” which was a show of d familarity not familiar to old earl he was such an untouchable sob he didnt have anything but band ot live for so the featured band in the rose parade is exactly where he shined. he lived every minute of every day practicing the drill instructor routines to be certain no one screwed up and embarrassed the perfection. i havnt been to many parades. i guess my dad kind of set the table for me. sit for an hour and watch floats and bands and baton twirlers…. its good to see the float, then the next one then you compare the thrid one with the other two and decide then the bands then the batons and the convertables with celebrities. and then you look at your watch and see what time the deal will be done because there is nothing else coming just earl after earl after earl all taken with the honor they have been awarded and the least i can do as im sitting ther eis care. so i do and i do and i do. for a good long time after i dont.
    parades and my float dont have a lot in common unless it is the james brown i feel good float with lovin spoonful and harry belefonte singing along to make it a moment to cherish. a pie in the face for being a sleepyold joe…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel the same way about parades now… but I didn’t know how to put it in words like you do tim.
      Thanks for doing that.

      “…so i do and i do and i do. for a good long time after i dont.”
      Classic.

      Liked by 2 people

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