Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pioneer Day and Parades

We celebrate two holidays in July in our neck-of-the-woods.  One is Independence Day on the 4th of July, and one is our state holiday...Pioneer day on July 24th.  It's the Wild West after all.

We have a house in a small town; population approximately 1000.  During this one weekend in July our community holds a rodeo; a car demolition derby; barbecues; a cowboy story-telling session; dutch oven cook-outs; picnics; sing-alongs; softball, tennis, and horseshoe tournaments;  STOP...take a breath...a children's pioneer pageant; a fun-run; a community ice cream social; a community barbecue turkey lunch at the city park; the volunteer fire men's fundraiser breakfast; a photography scavenger hunt;  a family-oriented street dance at night;  and last but not least, a parade.  Whew...I probably forgot something! 

Pioneer Day starts at 6:30 AM when the ear-splitting town fire whistle goes off to wake everyone up in time for the Fire men's Breakfast.  Just when the air whistle finally stops and you think you can drowse off for another few winks of sleep, one of the firetrucks cruises slowly up and down each and every block in town with the sirens blaring... for the next 1/2 hour.  They sure know how to wake up a town. These men cook a great breakfast; huge pancakes, bacon and sausage, hash browns, assorted fruit, your choice of scrambled or fried eggs, juice, and milk.  Hopefully you didn't eat everything on your plate!  Luckily, the next event is not too taxing.  After breakfast comes the parade. 

Our small town puts on a "mean" parade that goes all the way down Main street right in front of our house so we always get a good seat.  Some of the entries keep on driving right to the next parade in the next town down the road. 

There are floats that advertise businesses whose riders shoot t-shirts from cannons into the crowd. Every year at least one t-shirt gets caught on the power line in front of our house and this year was no exception. We have quite a collection of shirts acquired after the parade by throwing balls at the shirts until they fall.  Kids on floats squirt spectators with water cannons and there are lots of floats carrying town royalty (queens and attendants both) and floats carrying Boy Scout Troops.
This family decorated their Pioneer float with real sage brush (did you notice that it is being pulled by a green tractor?), and this float was sponsored by the local hospital.  Isn't it lucky that there are actual health care workers riding on it?  The little boy in the photo kept darting out in between the floats and horses to pick up candy in the middle of the street.  Where were his parents, and WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!  I forgot to mention that almost every single float has riders who throw candy, hats, Popsicles, the afore-mentioned t-shirts from the floats into the street and into the crowds of people lining the streets.  The children (and some of the adults) run into the street and pick them up.
Any self-respectin' western parade has to have horses!  Big horses, little horses and some of each.
I didn't have my camera ready when the first entry, the flag honor guard, opened the parade.  DAG NAB  IT!!!  They were quite impressive and followed by many veterans riding on floats.  I even missed the high school marching band. 

The one thing the parade didn't have this year was the usual antique cars.  Luckily, our friend Tom parked his 1915 Model T Ford on the side of our house while he watched the parade.  He cranked it up on the front of the hood and drove off.  It might just have been my favorite thing that WASN'T in the parade.

In the afternoon, we went the annual barbecue that our friends host for about 200 of their city and country friends on their ranch.  The setting couldn't be lovelier.
Hope your weekend was wonderful!


  1. Hi Bonnie,
    How much fun! I love festivals like this. We went to the 'Night in Old Fredericksburg' festival when we there a couple of weeks ago -- lots of fun. In fact, the architecture of your home looks a little like that in Fredericksburg.
    The mountains pictured on my blog are in Colorado -- can't wait to get there!

  2. G,

    I've always wanted to go to
    Fredricksburg. My home and outbuildings are made from native oolitic limestone (there are quarries here and many historic homes are made from it). If I'm remebering correctly the many homes in Fredricksburg use the same material.

    I'd love to visit hill country some day. I've been to Dallas/FW are and to Houston but never there.

    And I love the mountains of Colorado. Have a great time.

  3. Oh that sounds like so much fun!! I hate the parades that are 90% political and retail advertising! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  4. Boy, your little town knows how to celebrate! What fun! We're ready to move:)

  5. Sue, We'd love to have you. Hope that doesn't mean you won't open the B & B in Ca. Can you do both please. I'm waiting for that B & B with the great breakfasts!

  6. Spring City has come to life for me with all your great pictures and discriptions. What a fun place to be over the July holidays. Why would you ever want to spend them in the city?