Sunday, June 10, 2007

Festival Season

Today we went to the Albertville, Friendly City Days parade. Albertville, Mn is a small town of about 6000 or so. This is the first time we have attended this parade. We were expecting a typical small town parade. For the most part, it was typical. Except for the fact that it was not very small. In fact, it was 2 and half hours long.

I grew up in a real small town. My home town's population runs around 1000 or so, depending on if you include cattle or not. Our main street is 4 blocks long. Our parades usually had a couple marching bands, a half dozen floats, a couple politicians in convertibles and around 20 tractors. Did I mention my home town is a small agricultural community in South Dakota. Our parades ended like many parades, with the firetrucks.

Today's parade was different in that it started with the firetrucks. Not only did it start with firetrucks, it started with a lot of firetrucks. I counted twelve fire and emergency vehicles. You may ask why I counted. Because whenever we go to parades we always have cover our kids ears when the firetruck sirens and horns sound. Ethan's ears are especially sensitive to the loud, sharp, surprising noises. So much so, that he jumps when they blare unexpectedly. I know the sirens and horns make the parade more fun and exciting. But I think they are just too loud. They are even too loud for many who are not especially sensitive to noise. Over half of the young children at the parade had to cover their ears. A few toots and one long siren would be sufficient, I think. Keep the lights flashing and throw out fire safety Frisbees. There is no need to deafen anyone for the sake of entertainment.

One more thing that would have been welcome is for the firetrucks to spray the crowd with the water hose. Today's temperature got up to 88 degrees and we northerners aren't used to 80's this early in June. I suppose there is some sort of liability involved so trucks can't squirt people anymore. Which is too bad because, a couple floats had people using squirt guns on the crowd and people were begging to get dowsed. A couple of the marching bands even had boosters spray them on the back of their necks to cool them off.

Anyway, once the firetrucks had moved on, our ears were able to enjoy the rest of the parade. Emery was staying at Gramma's house this weekend, so Ethan got enough candy thrown at him for both of them. A few floats even threw frozen Flavorice popcicles to the crowd. The crowd pounced upon them like starving hienas.

Maybe it's a sign of the times or just the area we live in, but there was only one horse in the whole parade. I was disappointed that we wouldn't get to guess which band member would 'march' when he should've 'sidestepped'.

Overall, it was a very good parade. The weather was nice in spite of the heat. And we had good seats with good friends. I think we will try to visit another parade this summer. But we will bring ear plugs next time.

2 comments:

Lex Ham Rand said...

Wow, Dad stuff! Your posts are getting longer and more interesting every day.

And St. Michael-Albertville is considered part of the metro area now - Twin Cities suburb creep! It's heading your way! Look out!

creative-type dad said...

2 hours!?!

The town you grew up in sounds much larger than the one my wife grew up in.

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.