Monday, July 20, 2009

Anatomy of a small town parade

I've lived in this rural "small town" (technically I think it's classified as a city) for over 20 years. I grew up in a much smaller small town in Iowa.

I guess you take for granted after a while, that the life you lead is just the "norm" for everyone else, but watching the Nodaway County Fair parade on Saturday, got me to thinking how different a parade here is, compared to some of my readers in say, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Portland or Qatar.

So my friends, I present to you, an anatomy of a typical rural, midwestern parade. Complete with rednecks. (I say that lovingly.. I'm one too!)

Every parade starts with the crowds gathering. Get there early for the best seats. We tried to get their early, and made the mistake of trying to cross town ANYWHERE on the west side. Oops... huge tactical error. *not our happy place*


We sat in the shade. It was cold. I hated to complain about the cold in July, but I'm going to anyway.

It was cold.


Next, it's always led by the cops, then the guard carrying the flags. Oops, no pics of that. Everyone rises and removes their hats when the flags pass by. We're down with respect like that.

Oh and yes, our sheriff drives a truck.


Can't forget officers txting.
"Like, OMG, stuck at this stoopid parade. time+half tho, woot!"


Then the firetrucks from all over the county. It is a COUNTY parade mind you. Unfortunately, they let the kids run the sirens. ack.


Then we have our queen. All hail Nodaway county. On the right, she's the rodeo queen. I so have to get one of those shirts.


No parade is complete without a whole bunch of vintage cars.

Sometimes they throw candy. Did I mention there's candy? That's how they get the kids to come out and look at old cars and girls in dresses. Candy.


And tractors. Don't forget the tractors. Lots of them. There's probably as much time and money put into restoring tractors as there are vintage tractors.


This hat kicks butt. I haven't talked Gene into getting one yet. He could keep a sandwich in there for later.


My dad loved these old tractors. In fact, every year we used to go to the old thresher's reunion in Mount Pleasant Iowa. Love ya guys but GAWWWWD... how boring can you get to a 9 year old girl.


Oh wait, here's the real reason I came to the parade:


That and the free candy.


That is his happy marching band face. Trust me, he's happy to have marched for 30 minutes with a trumpet out in front of him. This was his first time marching.

Happy happy Tanner!


There's usually some motorcycles.


And businesses supporting the theme. This year was heroes or something.


And there's candy. Did I mention candy?


And cute kids on little 4 wheelers. Even some cute kids on big 4 wheelers. And lots of brave parents and happy kids. Cept mine. They don't have 4 wheelers. They have trumpets.


And girl scouts with some ass kickin quotes. They ain't playin'. Ninja girl scouts, sassy, sweet and lethal.


OK, this just makes me laugh.



These are the snazzy tractors. I think this one is probably in a tractor pull. Yep, we have those. Almost as boring as the old thresher's reunion. They have a sled, that they pull that's weighed down and the one that pulls it the longest distance wins.


Sorry guys, you're hella sexy but blech. Can I scrapbook while you go to your tractor pull?

Oh wait I'm married.


This is a redneck limo. It has seatbelts, lighten up! Sheesh. Looks like a sweet ride.


I've named him Bart. I'm quite confident he's intolerant of your immature behavior and he's fixin' to kick your ass. Don't mess with Bart.


Now comes the big guns. These cost more than your house.... and they generate more income.


And there's air conditioned comfort. I'm sure my grandpa would have loved to had one of those, instead of an umbrella to keep him cool.

But no candy.
Did I mention there's candy?


These guys are always entertaining. They are the Moila dudes. I think they use the moilas as an excuse to get all the toys their wives otherwise say "oh HELL no". Then she gets a big scrapbook room and every other Saturday in the summer full of peace and quiet. Then wonders why she complained to start with.

There's the magic carpet, and touring harleys...


and dune buggies....


and whatever those things are called. More dune buggies? They were fairly impressive. They had those things on 2 wheels around the corners.

And their wife says "when's the next parade dear?"


And every parade has one of these. Some goof with an extiquisher full of water. Course, I was outta there. Digital camera + water = really pissed off photographer that screams at ppl in public.

Then they give me candy, and I'm content.


When you see the horses, you know you're near the end. You see, no one wants to trek through horse apples.

Horse apples aren't candy. So don't pick one up.


"How humiliating".


Every horse in the tri-county area shows up.


Every half of a horse too.

And usually, the city's street sweeper is the last one, cleaning up lil' horse nuggets, but this year, we have this guy:


Our Maryville Chamber.

I'll leave the social commentary to myself, but will say that the candy was good.

*no horses, dogs, kids, cops, moilas, trumpets, cameras or candy was injured in the filming of this parade. Cept for the candy.

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