Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend parades ALL summer long

          On June 3 of this year, my brother, Corey, marched in the Pride parade.  I wanted to show him my support by marching with him – but it was at the same time my granddaughter was being blessed.  And so I did not march in the scorching sun drenching my clothes in sweat or caused pain to my feet or back while walking in improper shoes.

          Yesterday I walked with Jenna in the youth parade for Days of ’47.  We walked with a small group of girl scouts.  We’d been told that we would be number 40, but shortly after we arrived, we learned that our group would be second following the police officers on their motorcycles.

          I thought the girls who were leading were walking entirely too fast.  We were walking much faster than a parade pace in my opinion – we weren’t spaced out well enough behind the motorcycles, I didn’t think.  And there was enough space between us and the flag for another float or band.

          Copper Hills High School had a band that did an awesome job in my opinion.  I wish they had been spaced closer behind us than they were as I really enjoyed their music.

          There are always parades going on in the surrounding areas if not downtown.  I recall one year our family went to join the boys’ extended family in Star Valley, Wyoming.  There happened to be a parade on their “main street” shortly after we arrived. 

          The parade starts down one end of the street going up/down just one side and making a full circle at the other end and return on the opposite side of the street.  What a hoot.  But I loved it.  The entire parade (at least from the spectators’ point of view) was only about 20 minutes.  A far cry from 2-3 hours of NYC’s Macy Thanksgiving parade or SLC’s Days of ’47.  My eyes get bored after 20 floats, bands, and what have you.

          My family had also got stuck watching the parade just outside of Arco, Idaho.  We were on the return from a family vacation – totally unaware that a small town parade was even going on.  The street we happened to be on didn’t go through that particular time and so we watched the parade until we were allowed to cross.

When I was younger – much younger – our neighbors would take us to a parade in American Fork for the Geneva Steel days – that was a good sized parade.  After the parade we went to the parades final destination to ride rides and enjoy carnival food.  That was a LONG time ago.

          Some floats and bands from yesterday’s parade (as well as some others) will have an opportunity to be seen again on the 24th as it marks the arrival of the Utah pioneers settling the state – though it didn’t officially make it into statehood until about half a century later.

          Each city will offer its own parade (or parades) to celebrate something.  In Midvale they have a couple of parades during the year.  One being Cinco de Mayo – which I’ve only been to once.  I think we spent more time waiting for it to get started than sitting through the actual parade. 

          Jenna was only two at the time.  Our main objective for being there was to provide some kind of entertainment for her.  It was kind of disappointing really.  For the first five vehicles (I’d say 70% of that particular parade was vehicles – not including the floats) were ones that we would see on almost a daily basis.

          It was led by a police car.  I think the fire engine was third.  And there were a couple of construction cars – really.  We waited for that?

          It wasn’t all disappointing.  There were the Budweiser horses and a mariachi band.  I really have fond memories of that one after the parade.  They were on one side of the pavilion playing music; Jenna and I were at the opposite end, unseen by the audience that had gathered around.  Jenna was dancing to the music and I was standing close by making certain her wobbly legs didn’t send her on a trip down the cement stairs.

          When the band finished playing, a loud applause could be heard.  Jenna graciously bowed and chanted “Thank you.  Thank you very much.”  I am so sad that my camera’s battery wasn’t charged enough to take her picture.  How cute it was.  Especially her bows and curtsies to an imaginary audience.

          Kearns has their fire, water and ice in August.  It starts off with a parade and ends with a spectacular firework show.  I plan to take Jenna to the parade and the fireworks.  Don’t know that I’ll go to the event itself as it has always been so crowded.  The last time we went the pools were closed due to the rain.

          So all over the state there has been and continue to be parades that will definitely suit ones needs and/or desires.  We have the lengthy parade on the 24th or the much shorter parades in the smaller surrounding areas. 

          The one on the 24th is televised.  I have never watched a Days of ’47 in its entirety.  Too hot outside.  Too long either way.  But if parades are your thing – I heard that it was the third largest in the nation (at least at one time) go for it.  Have a great time enjoying life!

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