Sunday, June 9, 2013

Carson Valley Days!

What a huge difference from slick, regulated, large budget big city parades to those in small towns. I think I prefer the small town variety.

Our parade started off with a walk/jog/run up the parade route and back. Since they had to close the highway for an hour before the parade started anyway in order for traffic to clear, they ran a race.

This lady made everyone grin and got a huge cheer. I love people who are fearlessly silly. To her credit, she ran the entire race.

Even dogs participated!

Then the parade started. The cops had their glamour cars out...

...including their monster truck!

As parents we felt morally obligated to cheer LOUDLY for the school buses, much to our child's disgust. Which only made us laugh all the more. They did a nice serpentine down the street.

The good lookin' cowboy banner carriers got loud fangirl shrieks from the crowd around us.

Although the float for the swim center had NOTHING whatsoever to do with swimming and received well-meant but confused applause.

By the way, a 'float' around here consists of the following elements: Your buddy Jim's pickup, the neighbor farm's flatbed hay trailer, your kids and their friends, and the kid's cobbled together costumes and construction paper decorations. Plus maybe some of mom's gingham tableclothes. Hardly anything store-bought, just lots of creativity, group effort and imagination. Plus as they proceed, friends and family members along the route yell out hello's, family members run out and hug participants, friends walk along with the truck driver and have conversations...

It's awesome.

The local roller derby girls raided their closets for the weirdest stuff they could find and skated along with huge buckets of candy for the kids.

These girls were good. They'd get up a bunch of speed, then go down on one knee and quickly slide to a stop RIGHT in front of the kid they'd picked out, hand outstretched with candy at the ready. The kids were awestruck. Nothing but style.

Also, they were recruiting and I had to sternly remind myself about the state of my knees and left ankle, cause OMG I'd love to do this.

The local gymnastics studio was a hit with their trampoline-on-a-truck. Lots of the floats were an insurance company's nightmare. The guy in the sumo outfit was great, the guy perched on the sign over him took over right after this.

The local public health office float was one of the nurses' cars with posters from the clinic taped to it, including the one with the BIG SCARY NEEDLE made of a cardboard gift wrap tube. Don't ask me who thought that having a poster with a big, scary needle hung in a clinic thought it might be a great idea.

The guy with the WWII era motorcyle was cool with this little one, who ran out with his aunt and STOPPED him so he could touch the bike.

His mom was sitting next to us, she nonchalantly said, 'Yeah, he loves motorcycles...'

The guy swung around for a better picture later on.

One of the local off-road clubs, with the judge's stand in the background.

The judge's stand, by the way, was another flatbed hay truck with a few chairs and what seemed to be a few people of all ages rounded up at random to serve as judges. We watched them setting up the two canopies, they were too wide for the trailer so the each of the poles at the rear are supported by two chairs borrowed from the local casino, stacked on top of each other. Like I said, insurance company nightmare. It mostly worked and only one of them started to slip off near the end of the parade. Everyone just ducked down and ignored it in a hilariously 'Meh' way.

Vintage tractors!

Another homemade float.

..except I'll bet 'even' the tractor could spell better.

Tiny and cute!

Bigger and NOISY. Oh my God, was it ever loud. The round thing on the side was a spinning flywheel of death, just begging for you to stick yur hand in there so it could eat it.

*juvenile giggle*

The local theater company had a trailer set with a saloon scene, with a full-blown bar fight going on. No safety gear of any kind, fall off the trailer and everyone'd just laugh at you and help you back up.

But let's talk about the greatest thing on this float...


Cactus Guy's costume was an old cardboard box covered in a single layer of green bubble wrap with TOOTHPICKS STUCK IN FOR SPINES. Disney, I've seen your expensive parade costumes, are you paying attention?

The resident steampunk group's vehicle was powered by biofuel.

I'm thinking this thing sees time out on the playa at Black Rock every year for Burning Man. The thing on the back was a HUGE water cannon that had more than enough range to reach everyone.

Cool old fire truck. This one is mostly covered under a tarp during the year, they broke it out for the parade, though.

The democrat's float. Mostly polite silence from the crowd with a few, 'Aw, poor misguided souls' sighs. They smiled in a disheartened way and waved their flags, but had clearly forgotten the candy to toss out. We felt bad and cheered for them, which got a big grin out of the driver.

The republican's float, complete with obligatory Reagan poster and a COVERED trailer. This float got the biggest roar from the crowd all day, which was a bit creepy. They'd roped in the Boy Scouts to hand out candy.

The Red Hats. The horse and wagon are the same one we rode at the local ranch that does the fall festival every year. Horse sporting nifty hat, as is the supportive husband on the bike bringing up the rear.

Sadly right about then my camera battery died, I missed the last 1/4 of the parade. Next year we may participate and load the Jeep with chickens and stick a 'Jack's Henhouse' banner on it and make people wonder what the Hell we are on about.

It's tempting...

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