July 4, 2011

Baby, You're a Firework! - Celebrating July 4th

Happy 4th!

How did it get to be Fourth of July so soon? It seems like I was just bemoaning the overwhelming snows of winter, and - voila! - it's already early summer!

Every year, a small hamlet nearby hosts a mid-morning parade to celebrate our country's birthday. It's not a huge parade (maybe 20 minutes long), but over the 30-odd years I've been attending this parade, it has drawn an increasingly large crowd of maybe 250-300 people and stops traffic, literally, in every direction! Not too shabby for a tiny country hamlet that boasts only a very chic country store and cafe/gallery, a full-service restaurant and bar, and a post office. That's it. Two eateries and a P.O....and one very special annual July 4th parade...heh, heh.

Still, I love this parade. Even though it has become increasingly attended by non-locals, mostly "weekenders" (and their guests) from NYC (about 120 miles away), it's still a total laugh riot.

I took a few photos at the parade this year, but I found the whole thing wasn't quite as special as it was a few years ago when both two- and four-legged participants marched (or were nudged, reluctantly) through the town (hamlet) square.

Of all the photos I have taken of this parade, this very sweet young man with the most disdainful expression on his face is my favorite...priceless!

Katy Perry must have been writing about him when she sings, "Baby, you're a firework!" and this, um, parade "float" (?), with its handsome stuffed tiger lolling lethargically on a red-white-and-blue striped inner tube perched atop a red garden cart (I think), was teetering perilously as it made its way along the parade route. Hilarious!

The post-parade tradition is strawberry shortcake with a glob of real whipped cream to cap off the morning. Ahh, shortcake...a staple of Independence Day celebrations, and we're no exception here. I ask, does it get any better (or funnier) than a small, local parade to celebrate this all-American holiday? Indeed, I think not.

Now that I've cheered the patriots, and applauded the parade participants, I'm starting to have a craving for a creamy potato salad with egg...yeah, that's the ticket...think I'll go make some now...

Cheers, drive carefully, and have a happy July 4th celebration wherever you find yourself today.