I love a pa­rade - with en­trants toss­ing candy

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Joe Capell

Ilove a pa­rade! It’s July, so that means the pa­rade sea­son is here. Be­tween the 4th of July, Pi­o­neer Day, Fi­esta Days, Orchard Days, Onion Days, Salem Days, Gar­funkel Days, Daze Days, and Su­per Happy Fun Days, there are go­ing to be a lot of pa­rades over the next few weeks.

Peo­ple love these pa­rades, so much so that folks will of­ten stake out a spot on the pa­rade route a day or two (or three) ahead of time. They’ll camp out on the side of the road for the chance to have a de­cent view of the pa­rade. Per­son­ally, I don’t get this. I could un­der­stand camp­ing out in or­der to be first in line for front row tick­ets for a Billy Joel con­cert but not to see a pa­rade.

(Did I just show my age by say­ing Billy Joel tick­ets would be worth camp­ing out for? Would I be more “hip” and “with it” if I changed that to a Tay­lor Swift con­cert?) (And would I be more “hip” and “with it” if I didn’t use terms like “hip” or “with it?”)

Around here, pa­rades are usu­ally made up of the fol­low­ing kinds of en­tries: 1) dance teams, 2) beauty queens, 3) lo­cal busi­nesses, 4) politi­cians, 5) floats, and 6) horses. (Oh, and horse poop.) These six types of pa­rade en­tries can sometimes be mixed, matched or com­bined. For ex­am­ple, a politi­cian might be on a float or a horse. Or, lo­cal busi­nesses might com­bine with dance teams, floats or horses.

But what­ever it may be, no pa­rade en­try can be deemed truly suc­cess­ful un­less it in­volves the throw­ing of candy. Salt wa­ter taffy is usu­ally the candy of choice, but if a pa­rade en­try re­ally wants to make a good im­pres­sion, they’re go­ing to have to spend a bit more money. Full-size candy bars will leave a much big­ger mark on pa­rade-goer’s minds than salt wa­ter taffy.

Of course, full-size candy bars will also leave a big­ger mark on a pa­rade-goer’s face if it hits them there. That, along with cost, is prob­a­bly why salt wa­ter taffy is so pop­u­lar at pa­rades. Would you rather get hit in the face with salt wa­ter taffy or a full-size Three Musketeers bar?

So, if you are a big fan of dance teams and march­ing bands, you’d bet­ter pick your spot now. If you’ve al­ways wanted to get hit in the face with some salt wa­ter taffy thrown by a lo­cal politi­cian, start camp­ing out now. And, if you want to see a lot of horse poop, you’re ex­tra lucky, be­cause it’s pa­rade AND rodeo sea­son!

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