Posted in memoir, personal narrative, photography

I love a parade!

THAT WAS THEN…

When I was growing up in the dairy farm country of southeastern Pennsylvania, the annual July Fourth parade was a huge event. Everyone would bring their lawn chairs or blankets and the entire community would gather along the route, visiting with neighbors as they waited for the parade marshall to arrive, signaling the beginning of the parade.

Children shouted back and forth, turned somersaults in the grass, and called to their friends across the street. Excitement was high.

After all, it was the 4th of July, Independence Day in the United States, and in rural Pennsylvania we celebrated the 4th in a BIG way. It didn’t matter that the parade wasn’t very long, that every fourth or fifth parade entry was a fire truck, a milk truck, or a Boy Scout troop marching down the street behind their leader. The parade was a huge event in our little country town, and after the parade we could all follow the marchers to the carnival grounds at the end of the parade route. There we could ride the merry-go-round and other rides, eat cotton candy, win prizes at the  penny arcade, and stay out until long after nightfall, when we would finally wend our way home through the darkened streets.

THIS IS NOW…

Living in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, I had often heard  of something called Parade the Circle. This annual event, now in its 26th year,  takes place in the University Circle area of Cleveland. The Plain Dealer newspaper described it as…an artful event of floats , musicians, stilt-walkers, dancers, parading artworks and more, featuring more than 1200 participants, including more than 80 groups and 44 local and international artists from across the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Brazil and beyond.  The newspaper headlined it as Showtime at the Circle, and what an amazing show it was and so much fun! My daughter, Alison, grandchildren Michael and Emmy, and I arrived at 10 am for the parade that was scheduled to step off at noon, and, like the families waiting for the parade in my childhood days, we passed the time chatting and being entertained by the little children playing along the curb.  Anticipation was high and everyone was in a celebratory mood. And then the parade began with a group of colorfully costumed “creatures” (pictured above) leading the way. And it truly was a grand show. The parade participants interacted with the crowd along the curb; small

No invitation needed for the little kids to jump in and be part of the parade.
No invitation needed for the little kids to run out and get involved.

children and some bigger ones, left their seats and ran out to become part of the parade, jumping rope, running under the parachute and “high-fiving” the costumed creatures passing in front of them.

The excitement continued for almost two hours, and when the last costumed character passed by, the crowd rose from the curb and fell into line behind the last marchers,  heading to their cars for the ride home. As we walked to our car, I said to my daughter, “That was a far cry from the July 4th parade in my hometown.” The excitement was equally high and celebratory at both events, and the families were just as excited, but there wasn’t a single fire engine or milk truck in sight in today’s parade. I didn’t see any scout troops either, but there were plenty of children and they were all having the time of their lives. “I’m coming back next year,” I said to Alison and she agreed.

Click a picture in this gallery to scroll through more of my many pictures of the parade. It wasn’t easy to capture the spirit of this event on my digital memory card, but I hope, by scrolling through these images, you can sense the spirit and enjoy the interaction between participants and watchers .


Thanks for joining me on this unusual photowalk. I hope you enjoyed the parade. If it reminded you of some special memories of your own, why don’t you share them in the comments or, better yet, blog about them. Making and preserving memories is an important part of blogging.

Carolyn aka Skip

Author:

I'm an enthusiastic amateur photographer and nature lover, inviting you to join me on my trail walks.

10 thoughts on “I love a parade!

  1. Wow, that looks like an amazing, colorful, exciting parade! Much different from the little home-town parades I see in my part of SE Michigan. I can see why kids and adults alike enjoyed it!

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  2. I love a parade too!!! and your photos and descriptions are wonderful bringing me there too! Blogging 101 is working for you Skip!!! I love it!

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  3. I instantly felt nostalgic after reading this blog, I was even able to make a short entry and to take note that it is my first personal blog…

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  4. Carolyn, (or should I call you Skip?)
    I love your parade pics – you have quite a gift. I am super excited about checking out your other photos.

    Your parade work really captures the essence of personality of the event.

    Have you considered adding one of you photos to your blog as a header? I think it would really tie things together nicely. I guess the hard part is deciding which photo to use.

    Keep up the great work!
    Melanie

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    1. Hi Melanie. Most people I meet through my blog call me Skip, but Carolyn is good too. It really doesn’t matter. Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you thought the parade photos were worth a response. I hope that means I conveyed the feeling of the parade and not just colorful pictures. About the header, the theme I chose doesn’t accept headers, so I am looking for other ways to make it personal. Last night I tried to use a pullout feature on a couple of my posts. Maybe that will help a little to make them more personal. Thanks again for taking time to comment.

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