The small blink-and-you'll-miss-it town that I live in doesn't have much going for it in terms of services. We rely heavily on the surrounding towns--and traveling across the river into Portland--for pretty much everything. As an unincorporated area, we don't have a mayor, a city council, a library, a stoplight, or much in the way of sidewalks. We used to have a bank, but a few years ago they moved out.
However, we do have a post office, a general store, a salon, a vet clinic, a Curves, a tavern, a discount beer and cigarette store, and some miscellaneous repair shops that I've never quite determined what it is they do.
We also have a parade.
A few years ago, faced with the prospect of an asphalt plant moving into town (to the field on the far side of this photo), some community members decided that our town needed something positive the town could be known for.
So they organized a parade.
It's definitely a tiny parade, but it's fun.
Especially since my dad always makes sure to enter the Family Farm as a parade participant.
Last year, it dumped down rain, but we proudly drove the Mule down the parade route, Sydney and Jules shining their light-up fairy wands as Amanda and Grandma waved at the crowd.
This year I opted not to ride along with my dad and the kids, and instead watched from the sidelines. We were lucky to have a few hours of clear weather this morning, so no rain on this parade.
It was Addie's very first parade. She was super duper impressed. She loved the theme of Wild Wild West because it meant lots of cowboy hats and horses. And she also loved the golf cart ride from our house to the parade route (a surefire sign that you live in a small town: when you can drive a golf cart on the road).
We waved at the Air Force JROTC kids, but they didn't wave back.
Not much spirit, I'd say.
I guess they aren't supposed to wave.
Never mind then.
We were happy to hear the marching band because everyone knows it's not really a parade unless you have a marching band.
The one thing Addie didn't much care for?
The fire trucks. They were loud. But they waved!
And we're thankful for those fire trucks because they had to come out to the farm last summer when Jason was attacked by bees. Yay for paramedics!
There were plenty of politicians who made an appearance in the parade. Since moving back to Washington, I haven't quite invested myself in the political scene so I don't know anything about anyone.
I don't know who Denny Heck is, but I think his slogan is funny. We also have a Shotwell who's running for Sheriff. Ha! Shotwell! Sheriff! Our town doesn't even have a sheriff--and I don't even know what a sheriff does--but if I had a name like Shotwell then I might run for sheriff too.
Alas, my last name isn't clever at all.
Hello, Amazia vets! Thank you for taking care of our pets. We appreciate you.
And last but definitely not least, as the final entrant in this year's spirit parade...
The Family Farm!
My dad really got into the spirit of the parade's theme and spent yesterday building a covered wagon.
The kids thought it was great that they got to ride in the wagon. They waved and smiled and were content in the knowledge that their parents were collecting candy for them since they couldn't grab any themselves. Oh parade candy. How you plague me. People really should just throw Tootsie Rolls. They are the only candy worth eating.
Even though my girls don't actually own any cowboy boots, or a cowboy hat, or any "wild west" stuff, they looked super adorable with bandannas wrapped around their necks and, for Sydney, french braids.
(When did french braids become a symbol of pioneer living? I wonder if the tv show of Little House on the Prairie has something to do with it.)
Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of my older girls (I know! Terrible!), but you can trust me: they were cute.
I did get a picture of my youngest girl, who on the occasion of her very first parade experience, learned a very important lesson:
Fire prevention is important, it's true.
The other important lesson: Even with those loud fire trucks, parades are fun.