Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Fourth of July Tradition Continues!

Another year, another Edmonds Fourth of July parade.  That's how it works.  Edmonds is my hometown.  Whenever I visit it for very short stretches, it seems idyllic.  But all too soon I remember how crushingly dull it was and how you needed a car to get to anything worthwhile.  I know things can be worse.  A cousin of mine lives in eastern Oregon and it's a two-hour drive to get to the nearest town.  For us, it was a half-hour walk to get to a store.  When you're a kid, that's forever.  Plus, the store just wasn't that interesting.  Anyhow, in small doses, Edmonds is a very charming place.  But its Fourth of July Parade varies in quality quite a bit.  There have been years, when it's been super-short and very entertaining and other years when it's gone on forever and had the same floats go through three times.  This year was somewhere in between.  Here's how it went:
 The first thing was the - *heavy sigh* - Children's Parade.  It even had its own announcer.  I'm sure he had a name, but I will always know him as Ponytail.  He's in none of these pictures. 
OK, so maybe Ronald McDonald did ride a Segway.  He was at the head of the mob.  
It was all like this.  See?  Just a bunch of people shuffling down the street, I tell you.  All you needed to do to get into the parade was to either be a kid or to own one.  That's all.  Back in my day, you had to put in the time. You had to be a Cub Scout.  Or be in a marching band.  These days everybody gets a trophy; that being a chance to walk down 5th Ave. and perhaps a high-five from Ponytail.   
 And amid all the chaos was Captain America looking very buff.   

OK, so that was kind of boring - just lots of bikes and wagons and scooters and scateboards and strollers and whatnot.  Children are the future, true enough, but the present belongs to me.  Anyhow, Ponytail was sent back to the minors and Grumpy Old Guy (GOG) took his place.  Although not dynamic. this guy's workman-like hosting was way better than the guy last year.  Mr. Last Year could barely read, was nearly inaudible and sounded like he was about 100.  OK, so the real parade:
As tradition dictates, the parade is begun by the Edmonds Police's "drill team." Yes, there are only three of them.  My guess is that they're the thinnest members of the force and thus are unlikely to break their motorcycles.  
Yes, and there were fire engines...
 ...and army trucks/Humvees...
...and - excitement! - this is the closest thing they've ever had to a tank in the parade ever!  Like I said: excitement!  
Oh, and also the Coast Guard Auxiliary: the second-to-last line of defense in case of Canadian invasion.  Of course, the last line - and I've made this joke before - is the Cub Scouts.   
Here's the chamber of commerce float.  It's in the parade every year and it's always the same.  One year it went through three times.  Yeah, they didn't think we'd notice, but we did.  
People in cars...
 ...and here's a guy in a Lincoln, the kind with the suicide doors, which are open.  I dunno, it's weird to see it driving around with them open.  And if you ask me - and you should - it also looks slightly un-American. 
Here's some indie band singin' about flowers and nature and mountain streams and such.  The kids in the foreground think that every single thing in the parade is throwing out candy, but from this band they got squat.
 These are Job's Daughters.  They're part of the vast Masonic conspiracy.  They also gave out no candy. 
This is a bad picture, but that guy in the costume is dressed as an orca.  He was with the Job's Daughters, so that means he's also in on their scheme for world domination.
Say hello to Shorewood High School.  Unlike my high school, it's apparently still open.
They carried a giant flag - pretty impressive for such an inferior school.  
People dressed up like colonial times folks, except much fatter...
...the Sons of Norway and their fire-breathing dragon boat.  Actually, it's probably just a fire extinguisher or something.
Here's the Snohomish County Sheriff's Posse.  If you break out of jail, they'll come after you on horseback.  But they'll probably be dressed differently.
Ah yes, a guy dressed as a raccoon...
...more people in old cars.  Who are they?  Who knows?
...and a drill team.  I'm sorry, but drill teams are pointless and they make me sad. 
This is a non-marching band.  It's very interesting how they manage to cram so many people into such a small space.  The thing that struck me about these people is that they're very quiet.  I guess that's a product of the limited space.
 Tae-kwan do kids splitting boards.  Hi-YA!
This was voted the funniest float.  Am I missing something here?  Or maybe the Edmonds sense of humor is different from regular humans.  
Star Wars nerds!  Always a treat.  This year, there seems to be fewer of them than previous years.  The highlight?  The very large ewok in the center.  No, that ain't Chewbacca!
OK, this is all the planets coming into alignment: you have Captain America (from before), Oxy-Gene (some environmental mascot) and an Uncle Sam impersonator from the crowd.  What a moment!
This got the award for best decorated.  If you look closely, you'll see that it's just a bunch of potted plants.  Jeez, everybody gets a trophy!
One dragster... 
...two dragsters.  This is a first for the Edmonds parade.  At least as far as I can remember.
This is some random piece of modern equipment.  I believe it turns people into food after they're dead.  
And this is the end of the parade.  At last!

Happy Fourth! 

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