Monday, July 6, 2009

Here Comes the Parade

People in the Santa Ynez Valley love a good parade. We have parades for Christmas and Danish Days, Old Santa Ynez Days and Los Olivos Day in the Country. When Independence Day rolls around, Solvang hosts the festivities.

Thousands of people line the streets, locals and tourists alike. Highway 246 through town is shut down so that we can celebrate the holiday in our own unique style. This isn’t Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade or even Pasadena’s Parade of Roses. Instead of beautiful animatronic floats covered with roses, we have a truckload of Vikings towing a wooden statue of Odin in their wake.

We’ve got bikers on Harleys and Trikkers with babies on their backs. Our parade features Boy Scouts, belly dancers and obstinate cows leaving patties behind. Here you’ll see a Danish Days Maid followed by cowboys, stuntmen and Mexican folklorico dancers. While children dive for candy as it’s thrown in the street, tractors, fire trucks and classic cars roll by. In the background, bounce houses, game stands and cotton candy carts come to life on the grounds of the Old Mission Santa Inés where the masses will converge for barbecue, raffles and a concert before the main event: the fireworks.

The street sweeper signals the end of the parade. Sucking up candy wrappers and horse dookie delight, it cleans the pavement for the crowd that follows behind. Our family has been in the parade before. This year it was nice to just sit on the sidelines, wave to our friends as they went by, and collect a bit of candy. After all, any holiday that doesn’t require formal clothes, presents or lots of money is a good celebration.

God bless the USA!


Beth Kephart said...

I would have loved that parade. LOVED it. THanks for sending it across miles and miles, to moi.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Fantastic coverage and what a wonderful mix of cultures and everything that makes the US an amazing place to live. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I grew up with parades like this--makes it hard to go to any of the big ones we have up here now. There always WAS a place on the sidewalk, and you didn't have to show up at zero-dawn in the morning to get it. :)

We didn't do much on the 4th, but on the 3rd, as husband & I were heading down our moutain road, we must have passed 200 little fiesta-ware-colored vespa scooters coming up the other way. I looked it up & the weekend of the 4th is AMERIVESPA, a bunch of scooter events--that group was heading up to a restaurant in the mountains that is the traditional watering hole for riders of much bigger motorcycles. I swear, this was like a bunch of Muppet Harleys! :)

Kelly Polark said...

Hometown parades are so fun. Such a great feeling to cheer for your country with so many different people!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

the harleys are cool!

Suzanne Casamento said...

Sounds like a blast! Who doesn't love a parade with vikings?

Kelly H-Y said...

Your town sounds so awesome!!! Thanks for sharing all the pics!

Angela Ackerman said...

Now to me, this is MY kind of parade!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Beth - I would have loved to have you here :)

Sarah - I love the mix you can find in this country

Becky - We had a few Vespas in the parade, too :)

Kelly - I love a good hometown parade, too

Shelli - I can picture you on a Harley :)

Suzanne - Aren't the Vikings a riot? :)

Kelly H-Y - I do love Solvang!

Angela - Mine too!

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