Nothing says "celebrating civic pride" quite like a parade and fireworks. And every town seems to have both. In county in which I live, there are at least eight communities that have fireworks, and at least ten that have parades. It's great. The we talked about why I love fireworks the other day, so I guess we should talk about why parades are so great. Parades are great because they celebrate everything that is great about your community. Think about who is always in the parade: the fire department (what happens if there is a fire, I have always wondered), the Boy and Girl Scouts, high school marching band, a local politician or two, and maybe some Shriners if you are lucky, usually a local business or seven. And everyone turns out to watch. People are hanging out of windows, people are sitting three deep on the curb, little kids are on dad's shoulders to watch, Sister and I are sitting in lawn chairs drinking beer in her backyard, and there are clowns and cheerleaders and random people throwing candy and plastic beads at everyone. I guess you could sort of describe it as a family-friendly Mardi Gras. But anyway, it doesn't matter what you are doing, just about everyone makes it down for at least part of the parade. I will never pass up a good parade. They always make me feel good about wherever I happen to be standing, and they always make me feel good about the people I happen to be standing around with.
So I guess that what I am saying is that I want you to make a concerted effort to get out to your local parade and fireworks. Like, if you are trying to get somewhere and you are pissed because the route you want to take is blocked off because of the parade, just give in and watch it pass by. Even if you can't find anyone you know to go with you just head down and I assure you that someone you know will be there. Just get into the sprit and celebrate America, celebrate the piece of America in which you live, and celebrate the American spirit. Oh, and enjoy the festivities responsibly. Happy Independence Day everyone!