A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Small Town Celebration

Our town may be small, but it can celebrate the 4th like nobody's business! The highlight is the noon parade, closing the state highway for all of twenty minutes!

The town's antique fire truck follows the color guard opening the parade (we do have a few modern ones as well).

Old time buggy, sponsored by the clinic where I work. It is traditional for people on the floats to throw candy to the crowd... keeping the children busy trying to gather it all up.

Smokey the Bear waves from the back of one of the Forest Service trucks, accompanied by a handler - Smokey cannot speak, being a bear, and always has someone interpreting for him when he meets the public.

Smoothieville's staff do the hula on their float, complete with inflatable palm tree.

Staff from the grocery passes out free water to the watching crowd.

Since our town is so small, the parade is pretty short. There just aren't that many businesses and community organizations to put together parade floats. Therefore,

the parade has turned around and is coming back for its second pass through town. Following behind the end of the parade, Downieville Grocery owners Dan and Ingrid offered up "Sierra County Fire-less Works", unrolling two 100 foot rolls of bubble wrap, with people following behind them, stomping and replicating the sound of dozens of firecrackers - a great idea in our forest, where fire danger grows by the day each summer.

Once things settle down from the parade, there are rides on the fire truck, BBQ hamburgers and hot dogs sold by the Lions Club, a crafts fair and foot races for all ages from 1 to over 50, broken down by age and sex. It is great fun to see your friends' kids and grandkids race. Then there is a tug-of-war contest, natives against tourists, for both men and women. This year, with the holiday falling at the end of an especially long weekend, attendance at the events were down, but still a fun day. Hope yours was too!


Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

Oh my goodness, it turns around and COMES BACK? I absolutely love that!!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oh Birdson, what a great shot of the parade with the mountains in the back. Bubble wrap for fireworks. WHAT A SPIRIT your town has. The turn around is too cute. Thanks for a great pictorial.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

What a wonderful little parade you have! Ours was dead boring this year, and no spirit like that. It's usually much better -- don't know what happened.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a fun celebration. I live in a small town too, thought perhaps not as small as yours. We had a parade today too! We didn't end up going, as my children were in desperate need of burning off energy at the park.

5:37 PM  
Blogger FaeryCrafty said...

That looks like such a blast. I envy small town livin'!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

So - Birdsong,

How come you didn't have a few donkeys in that parade?

Terry (a fellow assmom)

8:21 PM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

What a great parade! Love the vintage doctor buggy...Having the burros would have been fun, but I believe I remember that some of them are shy? The bubble wrap idea is priceless!

My Big Sis's neighborhood does the "small town" 4th festivities and we loved to go to them when the kids were small. And this in a suburb of DC!

6:08 AM  
Blogger margene said...

What a great time you had! We had mother natures fireworks and a nice weekend of hiking;-)

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great parade. I especially like the fire-less works. What a great idea!

Your Sock Kit Pal

9:05 AM  
Anonymous SpiderWomanKnits said...

That is the parade I was imagining while I was at my own parade! Wish I could have attended yours.

Mine was an endless stream of the brand new heavily armoured "Disaster Response" vehicles our post industrial town recieved to combat 'terrorism'. My independence was the only thing that felt terrorized by their presence though. Surprisingly my son wasn't even impressed by them. He just held his ears.

A giant stream of bubble wrap would have been a dream come true for him :-)

10:30 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

What a great celebration! I love the vintage fire truck! What a quaint little town...I'm marking it on my places to visit!
Hope your holiday was a good one!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Lynette said...

The fire-less works idea is pure genius. And how exactly did Smokey's handler do the interpreting, eh? Great post, thanks for sharing the pictures.

9:07 AM  
Blogger The Purloined Letter said...

Sounds like a wonderful parade! Reminds me of my childhood.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous evagorman said...

What a wonderful photo of the parade! I love Downieville, and the photos make the town look even larger!

We didn't have a parade in Greenville this year, unless you count the endless stream of fire trucks heading up to Antelope Lake to help put out the 3,200 acre fire there! The valley was covered in smoke all weekend long.

Taylorsville had it's 4th of July parade. We didn't go but apparently it had all the Rodeo Queens there from this years Rodeo.

In the winter we Taylorsville has the Christmas Parade of Lights. Last Christmas they advertised 22 floats. We were so excited since it's such a small town (154 people) and we thought 22 floats, this is great. They actually had only 11 floats and went around the block twice. I never laughed so hard!!!

3:05 PM  

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