I’ve written before about the idyllic summers I spent during my teenage years on Coeur d’Alene Lake in Idaho. Some of my memories are of boating to Harrison, Idaho, a small town across the lake from where my parents’ cabin was.
Harrison had the most accessible Catholic church on the lake. We could drive to the town of Coeur d’Alene at the north end of the lake or boat across to Harrison. Most Sundays, we boated to Harrison.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Harrison had a small congregation during the winter, but in summer Catholics from all over the lake streamed into the marina and trod up the hill to the church. The Catholic crowd swelled so much that the congregation had to sit outside on the grass. It was better than kneeling. Except during rare rain storms.
On the Fourth of July Harrison had a parade. An old-fashioned cowboys and horses, sheriffs and cheerleaders parade. It ran the short length of the main street through town. The parade itself only lasted about half an hour, but to get a prime spot, people had to be there about an hour early.
We were rarely that early, but we got there in time to get bored before the parade.
The weather was hot and the kids cranky. Noses got sunburned, and we all wanted soda pop. Then bathrooms.
I’ve never really liked parades. I thought they were tiresome and uncomfortable. Maybe that’s why I only took my kids to a couple when they were growing up.
If she reads this post, my daughter is probably thinking, “What do you mean a couple? I don’t remember any parades!”
My response to her: “Don’t you remember the Santa Claus parades the day after Thanksgiving in Marshall? You got candy.”
But if she doesn’t remember the Santa Claus parades, she got her fair share later in life—she lived in New Orleans for three years. Now New Orleans knows how to throw a parade. Many of them. Mardi Gras lasts for weeks in New Orleans.
Call me a curmudgeon, but I don’t see the fascination with parades. The time is spent waiting for something to happen, watching animals and vehicles you can see any day, and cheering for minor celebrities like the mayor and prom queen.
Give me a good book and an air-conditioned room any day.
What festivities do you enjoy? Which do you find boring?