I Love a Parade

I believe every little town in the land has some kind of summer weekend festival/carnival. The Twin Cities’ one grew into the Aquatennial. Winona calls theirs Steamboat Days, and it happened this past weekend.

Husband and I pretty much steer clear of the crowds and the midway at this point, partly because our bodies no longer enjoys things like the Tilt-a-whirl. But there are a couple of things I like to do:

– the Vintage Car Show – 3 blocks of downtown cordoned off, for a walk down memory lane. (Click on link for actual colorful photo…)

– and The Parade. Quoting from the Winona Post:  “The Winona Steamboat Days Grande Parade is… packed with great enterainment including the U.S. Marine Corp Band from New Orleans, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, 34th Infantry Red Bull Army Band, area community royalty and several awesome high school bands…” 

The Parade at noon on Sunday is kind of a big deal – I think it’s the only city-wide parade all year. People start staking out their territory on Saturday, cordoning off their turf or setting out awnings, blankets, and lawn chairs. I got there right at noon, expecting to just stand, but was able to sit on an unoccupied stair step for a while – Husband came later.

There was an enterprising guy with a wagon stuffed with bags of kettle corn for $6. . There were Clydesdale horses, a collection of colorful Jeeps, and a person on stilts.

Winona’s Clown Club gave the Shriners some competition, and there was a group of little dancers from a local ballet studio that stole the show for a while there.

Winona’s own Little Warriors Drum Corps brought up the rear – they are amazing when they are in there element, many ages and cultures of kids who have found a place to showcase their talent. (Wish you could see the littlest guy better.)

When was the last time you watched a parade, or attended a summer festival?

Where else have you been able to gather where there are people of all ages, and from all walks of life?

40 thoughts on “I Love a Parade”

  1. I attended a parade last month at Tulip Time in Holland, MI. It passed along a street about 4 blocks from my house, so I walked over there. The only reason I even bother is that my sister-in-law plays the flute in one of the marching bands.

    Tulip Time lasts for 8 days, and includes about 5 parades. I only go to one of them.

    My father-and-mther-in-law (of sainted memory) resided just north of Grand Haven, MI for the last 30 years of their lives. Visits to them (from our overseas home) often coincided with the annual Coast Guard Festival (in Grand Haven). Any mention of doing anything south of them during that week was met with “you’ll get stuck in traffic!” This was considered the ultimate disaster. I, having grown up in Los Angeles, knew what traffic could look like, and it didn’t phase me. But to MidWesterners, this was hell. The very idea of trying to get around a festival, or worse, of attending one, was anathema.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. The high school band marches in wooden shoes (though some march in stocking feet). Behind the band, someone pulls a wagon filled with wooden shoes. I don’t know if these are replacements, or are the “fallen off” ones that have been scavenged back up.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh my, Yes. TRAFFIC!!

      Rochester doesn’t have a rush hour. Traffic will pick up at 5PM, but it’s not a big deal. And it’s fun to hear out of towners, or the new Mayo docs, ask about rush hour. No, we tell them, it’s not a thing here.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Last week I was a gathering of my high school friends at Lake Okoboji in Iowa. There was an Ice Cream Festival celebrating Blue Bunny, the dairy that makes ice cream there and in Omaha. I decided to opt out of the festival and parade because of the recent surgery and my overall energy level. So, I missed the parade, the jazz concert in the park featuring my 87 year old former band director, and supper at Archie’s Steak House. I wanted to do all of those things, but I am finding it easy to push myself too hard then pay for it with fatigue. I played it safe. I am starting to pull out of the post-surgery state which means that I hope to soon gather with people of all ages and life stages.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Roughrider Days is going on here right now. It lasts from June 18 to July 4. There are beer gardens, a demolition derby, a rodeo, parade, a carnival, and fireworks. For us in the Mental Health and addiction fields it usually means clients losing sobriety, arrests, teen girls running away with the Carnival, underage drinking/drug use, fights, you name it.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. The Winnipeg Folkmusic Festival takes place in early July in Provincial Park north of Winnipeg. . It is a great place to be with all sorts of people and I wish I could be there.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s been years since I’ve attended a parade, and I’m not sure which one was the last. Possibly one at the State Fair, or perhaps our local Cinco de Mayo parade.

    During my tenure at the alternative school, participation in the Cinco de Mayo parade was expected, if not mandatory, and I walked the entire stretch in that numerous times. It was especially fun during the years when I could walk with Pablo, our late wire haired dachshund. Kids all along the route would get so excited when they saw him, and yell: “Oh look, a Wiener dog!” and they’d rush out to pet him if they saw their chance. Pablo was such as gregarious little guy, and he loved the attention. At some point, the organizing committee banned dogs from the parade, and I didn’t participate after that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It was really interesting to be walking behind huge Heart-of-the-Beast-type puppets, elaborate colorful floats, and followed by noisy marching bands, to see the enthusiasm of little kids for that little dog.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. As a kid, we always went to Cloquet for the July 4th and Labor Day parades, since that’s where my folks came from. I was never one to wrestle on the ground with the other kids for candy being thrown from a slowly rolling car.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. My roommate and I went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade this year. I actually had never been; I don’t know but suspect it was smaller this year than is usual. Still, it was nice to get out and see a crowd at that point. I used to go to the Heart of the Beast Powderhorn May Day parade and festival (never volunteered for it, though I always intended to). As a Neopagan I’m interested in ritual, so I loved the pageant–the Sun crossing the lake accompanied by drums and the Tree of Life rising really was my Beltaine ritual. I think I’m still in mourning over the end of that event.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Rock Bend Folk Festival, of course, has been my festival of choice for many years. I haven’t missed one since the very beginning. It’s quieter, as festivals go, with a more laid-back feel. It’s getting so much more popular now. Every year the crowd is bigger. There have been very few “incidents” over the years, even with the larger crowds. One year a man escaped from St. Peter Regional Treatment Center and harassed Eliza Gylkison. He was taken back to where he belonged by police and most people didn’t even notice. Dogs aren’t allowed but people bring them anyway. As far as I know, there has never been a problem except for one reported potty accident that didn’t get picked up. Sometimes there is a lost child but it’s easy to reunite them with their parents. The worst and most frequent problems are yellow jacket stings. I like the peacefulness and the music.

    I also really enjoy RiverWalk Market Fair every Saturday morning in Northfield. It’s a small fair right in Bridge Square Park next to the Cannon River every Saturday morning rain or shine. There are arts and crafts vendors, music, local farmers with their produce, local honey, homemade jams, and the popcorn wagon. It’s small and easy to walk or ride a bike to.

    Otherwise, (call me an old grump) I avoid parades, fairs and crowds. It always seems hot and sticky to me, with lots of standing and walking and sweat. Gum on the bottom of your shoes and spilled sugary beverages. Then a long walk back to a hot car and a small traffic jam before you can get out of town. I need to be like those who stake out their territory on a curbside so that I have shade and a chair to sit in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I should say that Northfield’s home town festival, parade and historical re-enactment is Jesse James Days. The re-enactment is worth it for the history. The players are local individuals, many of whom have played their part in it for years. There are period costumes, guns, and horses. I’m not a huge fan of the carnival part but I like the re-enactments and the art fair. Art vendor booths are set up along the riverwalk which stretches along both sides of the Cannon River, connected by a walking bridge.

      Liked by 3 people

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  10. The first time I ever ran into one of these parades during the summer this the city puts on was in the UP of Michigan when I was camping and I thought it would be fun to go to a little Fourth of July parade and to my surprise they threw out a bunch of hard candy and that’s the first time I’ve seen that since then I realize that is a thing with small town bridge kind of fun the last parade that I was involved in I was EN up at Leech Lake in Walker my great grandfather was being honored and all of his living relatives were asked to ride in a float so I got to do the figure 8 waves in the going down the whole waves at all the different waves to keep going forth the 1520 minutes I was in the parade
    I go to meet up events most recently one where Anna presented and those offer an exposure to people in their 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s and 80s it’s kind of fun I have a guitar group that comes over on Mondays most of us are 60 but there are people that come that are 30 or 40 get a couple of 20-year-olds every now and again and that’s fun I have my kids stop in every now and again and get to see their friends let keeps me in touch with 20 and 30 something but I’m surprised when I go to the concert should I go to that it’s a whole bunch of old hippies that are all 60 or 70 years old I look around I think this is an old looking crowd and then I go to the restroom and use the mirror and say oh I fit right in

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