Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 4 in a Small Town

Growing up in the city, July 4 was an enjoyable, low-key day with relatives visiting, sparklers and fireworks in the park. The fireworks were similar to the ones we all shoot off in our backyards today!

So for me July 4 in my small town is something of a phenomenon. It's not just a day off from work, it's days and days and days of hoopla! This year, we enjoyed the carnival, fireworks in the backyard, dinner with friends, fireworks in the friend's neighborhood, a car show, a parade, dinner with family and... fireworks at the city ball diamonds. The highlight for my boys, you guessed it - fireworks!

4th of July holds special memories for me as last year my Mom and sister, Pam came to visit. My sister came to visit again this year and we had a wonderful time!

Also, last year my mother-in-law, Lauranell, was honored with the Citizen of the Year Award and was Grand Marshall of the parade. My husband was driving the car and my three boys rode with grandma.

A little side story: as the crew in the car waited for the parade to start. Nancy Boyde, Kansas State Senator walked up and extended her hand to my husband. She said, "Lawrence, congratulations on being named Citizen of the Year." My husband chuckled, swung his thumb toward the back seat and said that would be my MOM, Lauranell. hee hee

Our parade is a long-running affair, not just in terms of the length of the actual parade, but also in terms of consequtive years of parading. It draws a crowd and a motley crew of entries. This year was no exception. Our parade was in top form with antique cars, garganchuan trucks, antique tractors, heavy machinery, themed floats, unusual tractors, politicians, horses and state-of-the-art tractors.

You've heard of funny cars...this is a funny truck. The back-end has it's own driver who seems to have had a few too many libations prior to the parade. The K-State paintjob may explain it!

Woo hoo hoo, hee hee hee...this guy cracked me up. He was so serious about riding.

Here's some of the family after about an hour of watching...something tells me they are thinkin' about dinner.

Horses, now that's my favorite part! Not just because they are beautiful beasts, but because they are the second to last entry in the parade. The last entry...

The pooper scoopers!

Our little town's parade seems to be a big deal...not just the number of entries, which has some limits, believe it or not... but because of the wide variety of entries. At least that's my story. In all truth I'm not sure I fully understand it. I will add that election years, like this one, are particularly amusing as ALL of the candidates come out...local, county and state!

Another memorable 4th! A time to appreciate our incredible nation and the freedoms we enjoy, and a time to celebrate with family and friends. I'll be signing off now as I need a nap. I still have not fully recovered, and I do hope someone will wake me before the next 4th of July.

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