Today was the first time in seven years I attended a parade. It was not just any old parade--the locale markets the parade as they second longest running parade in the US. It is off the beaten track in the little town of Springfield Center, NY (near famed Glimmerglass lake or Otsego Lake). There is a wide variety of participants in this parade and many people who come out to support it.
So why was I there?
Great question! Thanks for asking. I attended because my oldest daughter was marching in the only pipe band in the parade. There were other drum corps and marching bands in the parade, but Hobart's Pipe and Drums was the only bagpipe band in the parade.
There is something special about small town parades. Even if there are people from all over (even forty to fifty miles away) you feel connected to each other. Have you ever stood in a large crowd and felt anonymous--even when there are people there you know? This is nothing like that. People are greeting each other and you. They stop and chat, or lean forward in the chairs, look right at you and ask questions, make small talk. It's amazing.
When combined with July 4th (or Memorial Day) there is red, white and blue bunting--lots and lots of red, white and blue bunting. There are patriotic songs, flag waving and cheering. Children running to the front of the crowds grabbing candy that is tossed from floats. In fact the children run around with no one worrying about their child getting snatched by a stranger. It's so different from a parade in a city.
I haven't missed attending parades in the past seven years while my bagpiper attended school and dropped out of piping. But now that she's back at it, now I've missed the small town parades. It harkens back to an earlier time in our history. It allows a break from city dwelling and the worries associated with city dwelling.
And we could not have asked for a better day. Blue skies, plenty of sunshine, a nice breeze and no humidity. My wish for you is a day as glorious as this day turned out for me.