Parades are used to celebrate a wide range of occasions-military, holidays, lifestyle choices, etc. For me and my big extrovert heart, this year's MainX24 was my annual, personal celebration of community. I love it for the same reason I love Halloween: it takes a bunch of different people from our city and puts them together on the street. We're happy; we're festive; and we're a little bit silly. I can't imagine that anyone felt sad or lonely on the streets there, because smiles and together-ness erase those feelings. It's a beautiful time with beautiful people.
This was our fourth year enjoying the parade and our best weather yet-so much better than last year when it rained and the frozen year before that. Perfect weather isn't required for a good parade, but it is very much appreciated.
This year we had two options: watch the parade or join the parade. When the options are enjoy the show or be the show, my default answer is always BE THE SHOW. We could have 1. built a farm-animal-christmas themed truck with my dad, complete with goats or 2. rode on Burl's school's float. However, after some very tedious decision making on Burl's and my part, we decided that staying as a family on the side (and gathering candy) was the way to go this year.
Plus, Fern and Ridge wore reindeer antlers for half the time, and that was enough attention for me to enjoy.
This year we stayed in a pretty big sized group of friends, which always makes things better! For me, it was nice to have a friend sit on the sidelines and giggle while I nursed Ridge. (Oh the places I've nursed...)
As any parent knows, it takes a village. In the picture below, one of my villagers is pulling Burl back from getting run over by a truck because I am on the other side of the street taking a picture. Go team!
I've yet to figure out the magic of taking pictures of floats and marching bands. There were some great ones this year. My favorites were the wide variety of drum lines, marching bands, dancers, and teams, because I love anyone whose theme is movement. For the first time, I noticed my old high school's participation with three well-themed floats.
"A Charger's A Charger No Matter How Small"
The crowd favorite is always the mutt-strut. All I see is how much attention that little tiny animal circus gets every year and think about how much more attention my dad's crazy goats would get! The be the parade/watch the parade is a very real struggle in my hyper-crazy heart.
While I'm divided on my level of parade participation, I'm firm and full of love and devotion to our community's weirdo parade. Hopefully all those who participated felt the love of the crowd. By the end of the line, we had all descended in the streets so much that they could barely make it down Main street. That's what happens to a crowd hyped up on enthusiasm. It was a beautiful time with beautiful people.