I headed up to my future home town today for the Memorial Day Parade. Nothing much was happening at 9:15 when I arrived, but by the time it began at 10:00, there was plenty of commotion.
This town has a real downtown. It was a major steamboat stop on the St. Johns River (the end of the line, actually) and the "Gateway to South Florida," beginning back in the 1870s. It still retains much of that era's small-scale boom town feeling.
The parade brought out the old
and the new.
It included some big boats
and some smaller ones.
It even included a float honoring military aircraft maintenance.
How can you tell this is part of a real aircraft? Because the window appears to be attached with duct tape, of course!
Stay away from these guys. They are crazy drivers. Sure, they look harmless, but I swear, when they did their antic daredevil figure 8 patterns, sometimes only two wheels were on the ground.
Some of the participants were youthful and clean cut, like this local fire unit (check out those golden axes)
and the future Marines and sailors
and, of course, the Girl Scouts
and beauty queens.
Some of the folks in the parade had seen action, and their seasoning showed.
Don't ask me what these marching Santas have to do with Memorial Day -- I can't tell you. But they had some great cadence chants going, including a very catchy one with a refrain of "Ho, ho, ho."
Meanwhile, the streets were littered with . . . fish???
Ah, there's your culprit. But what a fine view of the parade from this osprey's nest!
Although there was a lot of cheering during the parade, these Tuskeegee airmen received the loudest cheers of the day.
There was also some spontaneous thanking going on. Several spectators broke ranks to shake hands with the veterans riding along on this big gun.
Meanwhile, a guy behind me said to his buddy, "That was the biggest thing going at the time" and his buddy replied, "Yep, made it possible for us to have a parade like this today."