Pas de Parade

Photo credit: Raymond Hillegas

YA and I are parade people.  We’ve always liked parades.  Blueberry Festival in Maine was a great parade and during the Cheesehead Parade in Little Chute, Wisconsin during the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival, YA came away with more candy and loot than any parade before or since.  We go to the State Fair parade every day we are on the fairgrounds.  For me this means four or five times in 10 days. 

When YA was younger, she was actually part of the Richfield Fourth of July Parade with her gymnastics team.  I was part of this parade as well, as one of the accompanying adults.  The only other parade I’ve taken part in was the year the Thespian Society had a float at our high school homecoming parade.  (We had a stuffed horse (the opposing team’s mascot) in a football uniform with a cast on its leg.  Break a leg?  We thought it was clever but we didn’t win any prizes.)

Normally YA and I do two parades on the Fourth of July – the local Tangletown parade which is kids on their bikes and people walking their dogs, all following a big fire truck.   Low key but charming.  Then we head off to Richfield parade – a more typical Independence Day parade with floats, military displays, politicians and candy.  Makes for a nice holiday for us.

So it was a little sad when we found out last week that Richfield isn’t having their parade this year; I was looking for the parade route (which isn’t always the same) online and found out that due to inflation, they can’t afford to do the parade this year.  A bunch of other Fourth of July activities has likewise been cancelled.  YA and I talked about it and decided that maybe we’d go to Edina; we’ve been to that one a few times in the past. 

YA came home from an errand on Saturday to say that people were already claiming their spots for the parade; the parade route is actually pretty short.  It seemed remarkable to me that folks would be putting chairs and towels out on the boulevard; what an invitation to vandalism.  But then I drove by yesterday morning and it did my heart good to see that everybody’s stadium chairs and tarps and blankets all seemed too be in place.  And there were A LOT of them in place.  We talked about whether we should join the fray but since that parade conflicts with our local parade, we opted not to. 

Of course if it is raining when you read this, no parades for us.  Although we do like parades, not enough to sit in the rain for them.

Have you ever been in a parade?  Do you have a favorite parade?

79 thoughts on “Pas de Parade”

  1. We used to go to various small town parades around here which were mostly groups throwing out candy, old cars and tractors ,and massive new equipment. Ben could have driven his tractor in the weekend post in those parades.
    North Mankato has a a good parade next weekend. We lived one block and three blocks and three blocks from the route. It had bands and floats and horses and old cars and tractors. Nope, Ben would have to leave his tractor out of this one.
    Later if my right hand is up to it, I will tell about my favorite parade in 1982 in Two Harbors in which I rode on a stagecoach.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. This will be my first Fourth in years when I do not go to the fireworks. But I have seen two shorter sets of fireworks at Moondogs games in the last three weeks.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Ugh. Yes, I was contractually forced to be in a parade when I was the Carlton HS band director, and the powers that be decided they needed a marching band in the Carlton Days Parade one summer. That required many hours of marching drill for the HS band members who had never marched before. It was all new to me as well.

    We only had to march about 4 blocks and play maybe two songs, but he did need to execute a right turn at a corner, which was the biggest challenge. The band played acceptably well and more or less stayed in formation, but for me, it was much ado about nothing. Fortunately, it pleased the crowd and I suppose the powers that be, so I guess it was positive.

    But I’ve always hated BEING in a marching band. I don’t object to marches as a musical genre (they’re often lots of fun to play). It’s just the militaristic undertones than bug me.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. We still make fun of the senior in my high school marching band who kept shouting at us, “C’mon you guys! Liiiiine up!!”
      I enjoyed marching band.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve never been a parade person. If I have been an observer at a parade or two, and I probably have, it was so long ago and so unmemorable that I couldn’t tell you when or where.

    I marched in a parade when I was a sophomore in high school. Band in high school entailed marching. We were bussed up to Moorhead to march in some parade. It was midsummer, beastly hot, and our band uniforms were dark blue heavy wool.. I hated marching. I hated it so much that I quit band after having been a band member since grade school.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Our Big Band Trip, held every three years, was to Las Vegas in July, 1971 on the Fourth of July. We marched a1 mile parade route down the Las Vegas Strip in wool uniforms when the temperature was 104º—cruel and unusual punishment. The bottom of my shoe melted through so I limp-marched after the hole exposed my foot. We stripped down and jumped into a pool somewhere after the parade was finished.

        Liked by 5 people

  5. Marching? Parades? I am from the town that hosts the Tristate Band Festival each September, and we marched all the time. There is a street and field competition, and bands come from all over. I played the bass drum. Best friend was a snare drummer. We wore black wool uniforms with red plastic overlays, tall, furry black hats that resembled those worn by Buckingham Palace guards, and white spats. They were hot and uncomfortable. I was so relieved to be in Concordia College concert band that did not march.

    We marched in lots of parades. Turkey Days in Worthington sticks in my memory, as the parade started with a flock of turkeys being driven down the street, and we had to not slip in the turkey do do. Hated marching behind horses for the same reason. We marched in tiny little Leota one July 4th. It was incredibly hot.

    Dickinson had the Roughrider Days Parade on Saturday. We didn’t go, but I am sure there were lots of horses, only a few, if any bands, and lots of floats tossing candy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When we turned corners, we had an elaborate and highly technical strategy that necessitated some of us turning around and marching in place in the opposite direction for a few beats before we turned back and proceeded to go around the corner. No pinwheels for us!

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Say you are making a left turn. The people on the left side of the band take tiny steps around the corner while the players on the right side of the band take enormous strides to round the corner. Our technical procedure eliminated the need for the enormous strides.

          Liked by 5 people

        1. You tube has everything. Here is a small town parade with a band turning a corner. Sometimes we did it with spins instead of a straight turn.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. We did the spin corner. Each line went forward until their spot on the corner, then spun 270° and kept marching forward, now going the other way. If that makes sense.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. When did they start throwing candy during parades? I seem to remember as a child that they didn’t do that. This would probably have been Storm Lake, Iowa’s Homecoming Parade, so maybe they just skipped it.

    Sis-in-law lives in a Midway neighborhood that has a little parade on the Fourth that sounds a lot like Tangletown’s – with the bikes and dogs, etc. We took Joel’s bike over there one time and participated in that with his cousin. I’ve mentioned being part of the (under) dragon in Mpls. May Day Parade. That is my favorite parade of all time, and I would often get teary watching it.

    I did enjoy the State Fair parade when I’ve been there for it. And you know about Winona’s Steamboat Days from a couple of weeks ago.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Rise and Join the Parade, Baboons,

    I usually feel somewhat patriotic on July 4, especially since discovering that a cousin in the 1776 generation was Jefferson’s scrivener for the Declaration of Independence (Timothy Matlack a Free Quaker who was one of Betsy Ross’s buddies). This year I am decidedly feeling resentment and concern after recent national events. Despite that, I will post this. This Sousa march is most often played when the band is seated on the back of a truck bed to navigate the parade—yes, I did all of versions of parade appearances as a young musician—because it is so complex that marching and playing at the same time is nearly impossible.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Despite my disdain for marching, I do like march music. Our usual march was National Emblem, which was a fun one for horn players, of which I was one. Sousa’s Liberty Bell march has sort of been ruined for marchers. It would be nigh impossible to resist a silly walk.

        Liked by 4 people

      1. Historic American Sheet Music, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University
        Sheet Music Lyrics

        Stars and stripes forever
        Words & music: John Philip Sousa

        1.
        Let martial note in triumph float,
        And liberty extend its mighty hand
        A flag appears, ‘mid thund’rous cheers,
        The banner of the western land.
        The emblem of the brave and true,
        Its folds protect no tyrant crew,
        The red and white and starry blue,
        Is freedom’s shield and hope.
        Other nations may deem their flags the best
        And cheer them with fervid elation,
        But the flag of the North and South and West
        Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

        2.
        Let eagle shriek from lofty peak,
        The neverending watchword of our land.
        Let summer breeze waft through the trees
        The echo of the chorus grand.
        Sing out for liberty and light,
        Sing out for freedom and the right,
        Sing out for Union and its might,
        Oh, patriotic sons!
        Other nations may deem their flags the best
        And cheer them with fervid elation,
        But the flag of the North and South and West
        Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

        Refrain:
        Hurrah for the flag of the free,
        May it wave as our standard forever,
        The gem of the land and the sea,
        The banner of the right.
        Let despots remember the day
        When our fathers with mighty endeavor,
        Proclaim’d as they march’d to the fray,
        That by their might, and by their right,
        It waves forever!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I knew the words, what I remembered of them, from an old player piano roll. I see now that the words on the roll were incomplete. I think it’s interesting that the march had words and that they’re interesting ones at that. I wonder if other Sousa marches also have words?

          Liked by 3 people

        2. The Washington Post March doesn’t need lyrics, especially when played like this:

          This 45 rpm is in the collection of records tim inherited. Go find it tim.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. The record that tim has is a 45 rmp, and it has a different cover. It contains four Sousa marches: Stars and Stripes Forever, El Capitan, High School Cadets, and the Washington Post March. It was the first jazz record I ever owned, a gift from my late uncle Leo. I may well have worn out the grooves on it. Tim would have to tell.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. And here’s El Capitan. Makes me think of Steve and his love of a New Orleans traditional jazz band whose name currently escapes me:

          Like

  8. And of course we staged the Music Man when I was in Grade 11, with Merle S, Ben’s acquaintance, as Harold Hill, and Martha Schmidt as Marion. She went on to study composition in France with Nadia Boulanger, and recently retired as a music educator in the Twin Cities. She is still composing. We had a good music department in Luverne.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. OT. Don’t forget the parade to Jacque’s house on Sunday the 10th for Blevins. Midnight Riot by Ben Aranovich and straight Rivers by Chris Norbury. 2 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  10. When my father was in High School he played the drums in a drum and bugle corps made up of sons of WWI veterans. He also was a bugler in the Army Air Corps.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. There is a big deal summer band here, which I thought COVID had shut down permanently as well as for two years. But it is going again, not quite so selective. It draws from HS bands around here, mostly Manakato and St. Peter.
    Also, there is a big band competition later in summer called Thunder of Drums.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. To celebrate my independence I scrubbed the hard floors, toilets, and tubs. In 97% humidity. They will dry by the end of the month, I hope. Truly, that does celebraste my independence.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. High School Marching band for 3 years. We did the high step march so it always looked more impressive than the other bands that sort of walked.
    Yes, terribly hot uniforms. My senior year we got new uniforms. They didn’t arrive in time for marching band season, but there were almost tuxedos for concert band too. They had capes! And the big furry hats. (for marching, not for concerts).
    The college music department is trying to bring back pep bands. (Long story of administrative meddling and declining enrollment has barely left us a music department.) Choir is growing and doing well. So trying to bring the band back.

    There is a Rochesterfest parade every summer. This year it barely made the news. But I’ve provided wagons for floats and I’ve driven in it for a couple years. It was kinda fun. Kelly and our son rode on the float when he was about 3 yrs old. Didn’t make much of an impression on him I guess.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This reminds me that I got to ride in Iowa State’s VEISHEA parade under one of the floats – a coveted spot. My boyfriend at the time co-engineered the building of it… VEISHEA (acronym of all the University’s college when it was created in 1922) was a week-long springtime festival on campus until 2014… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VEISHEA#:~:text=VEISHEA%20%28pronounced%20%22VEE-sha%22%29%20was%20an%20annual%20week-long%20celebration,campus%20of%20Iowa%20State%20University%20in%20Ames%2C%20Iowa.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. We spent this morning weeding in the back yard, having finished weeding the front yard yesterday. We had 1.60 of rain last night, which made weeding a snap, and also resulted in a very muddy puppy who was so very helpful strealing tools and tearing around. Now wevare listening to a vinyl recording of Bix Beiderbecke with various small groups.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Limericks are never OT on the trail, right? Especially not if they’re about – you guessed it – baboons. I can see, in my mind’s eye, a troop of baboons marching in a 4th parade:

    There once was a brainy baboon,
    Who always breathed down a bassoon,
    For he said, It appears
    That in billions of years
    I shall certainly hit on a tune.
    ~ Arthur Eddington

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Well, yes, the weeders are tired. Husband has a pickup piled high with contractor bags full of weeds and hedge trimmings. He will take them to the landfill tomorrow. I am keeping a snoozing puppy company on the sofa and Husband is napping.

        Liked by 3 people

  16. Do the Baboons know that the Washington Post March is named for the newspaper, and as recently as 20 years ago, you could commission marches in honor of your local newspaper?

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Remember the pair from Dickinson,
    Whose weeds in their yard they think a sin.
    They work much harder,
    For food for their larder.
    Their shelves and their freezers are sinking in.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. That’s entirely up to you, Renee. Personally, I gave up living up to the expectations of other people years ago. It’s quite freeing, actually.

        We’re heading out to our annual 4th of July celebration at Ann’s house in a few minutes. Six people ranging in age from 70 to 87; no way of predicting what might happen. I intend to enjoy it, no matter what.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. The Uncle Ronald comment, while true, was more in jest than anything. There is something supremely satisfying about a weeded garden and flower beds.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Oh, I get it, Renee. I feel the same way about a garden full of weeds, and about dirty windows for that matter. Not because of what the neighbors might think or say, but because I don’t particularly appreciate either a weedy garden or dirty windows.

          Liked by 2 people

  18. When I was in marching band, in addition to the aforementioned episode in Moorhead, we regularly had to perform at football games, including halftime on the field where we formed letters and what all. None of you have mentioned that. Did you also get pressed into tricky formations?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, we did the pregame show and half time Shows. I still remember parts of the pregame routine.
      The band lined up in a grassy courtyard, then marched to the stadium about 200 yards away. We went under the ‘catwalk’, a hallway connecting two of the buildings and it echoed and sure sounded loud and raucous. It was always fun. Especially marching back after a winning game. It wasn’t so loud if we lost.

      Later years, the catwalk was sealed underneath so the marching wasn’t as much fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m not really a parade fan. It just isn’t appealing to me. I’ve ridden on a float a couple of times and that was fun.

    Like others, I marched in high school marching band but it wasn’t my thing. The wool uniforms were too hot. We had large heavy hats that fastened beneath our chins and had large brims. They were made of a heavy plastic material and resembled military officers hats. We had to wear spats and ill-fitting black shoes. I played flute and found it hard to maintain the proper posture, holding my flute parallel to the ground while keeping my eyes on the little tippy music stand attached to my flute. We did the corner thing where those closest to the corner took tiny steps or marched in place while those farthest out took large strides. We had a very gung-ho band director for the last two years and he was quite strict. We learned new patterns and did shows for half-time during the football games. I was glad to be in concert band my senior year.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. The Parade

    How exhilarating it was to march
    along the great boulevards
    in the sunflash of trumpets
    and under all the waving flags –
    the flag of ambition, the flag of love.

    So many of us streaming along –
    all of humanity, really –
    moving in perfect step,
    yet each lost in the room of a private dream.

    How stimulating the scenery of the world,
    the rows of roadside trees,
    the huge curtain of the sky.

    How endless it seemed until we veered
    off the broad turnpike
    into a pasture of high grass,
    headed toward the dizzying cliffs of mortality.

    Generation after generation,
    we keep shouldering forward
    until we step off the lip into space.

    And I should not have to remind you
    that little time is given here
    to rest on a wayside bench,
    to stop and bend to the wildflowers,
    or to study a bird on a branch –

    not when the young
    are always shoving from behind,
    not when the old keep tugging us forward,
    pulling on our arms with all their feeble strength.

    – Billy Collins

    Liked by 3 people

  21. When in Cloquet MN high school band in the fifties, we were always in the Memorial, Fourth of July and Labor Day parades. We also were in Aquatennial parades and the MN Centennial parade in St. Paul (hot day and we were in wool uniforms…after the parade we took our shoes off, my feet swelled up so much I couldn’t get them back on. On the way home we stopped at Forest Lake and put our feet in the water to cool them down.)  We also went to Winnipeg one summer to march in a parade.  Digging in my box of memorabilia recently found an article about our band being famous and often winning honors at Aquatennial and St Paul Winter Carnival parades.  (We marched in Chicago in 1957 kat Soldier’s Field one summer. Our picture was in the Chicago Tribune and it was noted that we were “nationally famous” Did not know that until this year.)  I was in the Carlton Daze parade last summer on the Carlton County Historical Society hay wagon, dressed an old farm lady.  I was also in the Carlton parade in 1985 dressed as a watermelon. May be in this year’s too. 

    Cynthia is Mahtowa “Life is a shifting carpet…learn to dance.”

    Liked by 3 people

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