A blog about Parades, and the people who participate in them.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Columbus Daze

July 2nd: Columbus Daze 150th Anniversary Parade, Columbus, NE
On Sunday, after praying for rain, I ended up driving to Columbus in blazing sun and heat, but happy to listen to Lightning Bolt's latest, Hypermagic Mountain. I parked near the end of the parade route, and walked in reverse to meet up with the HahnCrew. And it was almost unbearably hot, with no shade on the streets, but lots of people on the sides. Team Hahn had a Hahn Dog, Hahn Strollers, and Frank LaMere walking with us this time, along with Ruth Hahn emphatically repeating "He's the man, He's my husband!" After the end of this rather long parade, my camera eye cup was entirely fogged up, I had sweat running down my face and my body, and I returned to my car, pumped the air conditioner, and sped back to Lincoln to see my recently arrived friends from Providence. Definitely had some heat stroke after this one.

July 1st: Wakefield and Sutton

This was a day of two small-town parades

July 1st: Wakefield 125th Anniversary Parade, Wakefield, NE:
We had to drive a long way to get to Wakefield, NE for this parade, and when we arrived, it was very hot and muggy, though mostly overcast. The town may have been small, but the route was very hilly. Seeing as though this was a celebration of the age of the town, there were tons of women and girls in bonnets and calico dresses. One young couple in period costume rode an old tandem bike. Very cute. On the walk back to the campaign truck, I found the old high school and auditorium.

On the drive between Wakefield and Sutton, we stopped in Columbus, NE, where David played Creature from the Black Lagoon pinball. Amazing.

July 1st: Dug Out Days Parade, Sutton, NE
I'm pretty sure this parade was only 7 blocks long, and all downhill. Before the parade, I visited the local tavern, where I drank a PBR. Upon seeing what I had ordered, the guys from the local band providing the evening's street dance entertainment (sponsored by the bar) said "If I'd known that's what you were ordering, I would've bought it for you!" They want me to come back. There was a group of Red Hat Society ladies on a pontoon boat, all wearing oversized shirts with bikini-clad bodies screenprinted on them, some 4-H goat kids, the ubiquitous requisite community band o f old guys on a flatbed, and best of all, a zebra-painted AMC with an amplifier strapped to the roof blasting "Sweet Home Alabama" filled with guys in mullet wigs throwing not candy but dog food out the windows.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

My dedication to Parade, June 17th Overview

Who doesn't love a Parade? People get upset when their Parades are rained upon. It even was en vogue at one point (and, quite frankly, could very well be again) to call having a nice walk about the town parading.
So this is Paradeblog, where I formally announce my mission to attend and participate in countless Nebraska Parades, from 6-block small town events to 3-mile hikes through Omaha. I will be carrying my trusty XL-2 along. I encourage participants in Parade Club to post potential parading opportunities, create innovative entries, or simply walk along with the political candidate of their choice as I am.

Now that that's established, here is a run-down of Parades so far:
June 17th: Juneteenth Parade, North Omaha.
This nearly 3-mile long parade stretched all along 24th Street, from Hamilton to Fort, before turning west on Fort to 30th, ending at Fort Omaha. It celebrated the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching slaves in Texas, and thus this Parade went through Omaha's historically African-American neighborhood/ghetto (and, coincidentally, the neighborhood where my father lived when he first emigrated to the United States in the late 1950s). I've completed a video of this Parade.

June 17th: Stromsburg Swedish Midsömmar Festival Grand Parade
This was very large for a small-town Parade. Stromsburg hasn't a single traffic light, and yet many of the yards on this half-mile long route had 40 to 50 people in lawn chairs and on the grass out to watch the Parade. The theme was "Sun," and one of the best entries ascribing to this was "Riders for the Son," a 100+ unit entry of Harley Davidson Christians. Video pending completion.