Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Glorious Fourth

My family is gearing up for our area's annual 4th of July parade which draws spectators from all over the state. As many as 15,000 people (plus 6) descend upon our tiny, historic neighboring town of Colbert. In its heyday, Colbert was a bustling city located along a busy railroad line. Now it's just a sleepy, slow-paced Southern town of about 400 people. But for one day in July, Colbert enjoys a resurgence of energy and the excitement of its glory days. The Colbert 4th of July celebration is more than just a parade-- it's an "event." The other festivities of the day include a 5K road race, local entertainment, speeches, crafts, and tons of Southern food. Often, the locals set up chairs along the street and many have cookouts and invite guests for games of checkers and horse shoes in their backyards. It's always great fun.

The parade itself is, of course, the main event--it lasts over an hour and winds its way through several blocks of the town and ends on the main roadway in the heart of the city near the old Depot. It includes a down-home assortment of pretty much anyone who wants to get there early enough to join in the line: local "celebrities," pageant queens, cloggers, antique cars and trucks, Little League players decked out in their uniforms, church groups, teams of horses, Shriners in their tiny clown-cars, the local high school marching band, baton twirlers, several fire trucks, and (since it's an election year) just about every politician in the state who's still breathing (and maybe one or two who aren't . . . . sometimes it's hard to tell.) One year we even saw a man riding in the raised bucket of his front-end loader. I think an ambulance was positioned in line near this wacky entrant. When my kids were younger and easily impressed, they thought the best part of the day was gathering tons and tons of candy which is tossed from the make-shift floats along the parade route. Nowadays for my kids, those days have gone the way of the railroad and we've outgrown that part. So this year our crew is joining in the parade and we'll all ride in a vintage WWII army jeep my husband restored recently. But we have buckets and buckets of candy which we'll toss to the young kids who are still easily impressed.

Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July. God bless America.


Kari & Kijsa said...

We are participating in a parade tomorrow, too!

Have a glorious Fourth of July!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Bebe said...

Hi Cathy!
Sounds like you are going to have a fabulous 4th weekend! You'll have to take a picture of that parade and jeep! I'm sure you all will have a great time :) Lots of Southern Hugs, Bebe :)

Suzanne said...

Sounds like a good old-fashioned fourth. Have a great weekend.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Pam said...

The parade sounds grand.

Have a glorius Fourth!

Tipper said...

Everyone loves a parade! Happy Fourth to you!! Love your postcards-very cute.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Hi Cathy...Happy 4th!! I hope you have a great weekend!!

Jann said...

This sounds like so much fun! It makes you think of times past in small-town America--hope you had a lovely 4th!

Back Through Time said...

Hope you had a great 4th!! Your parade sounds wonderful.