I enjoyed Saturday’s parade sitting on a curb next to three young girls rocking a bohemian vibe with multicolor sundresses, silk scarves donned like capes, cowboy boots and adorable hats. Also a couple who’d arrived by bike.
The gentleman got a hoot out of watching one of the high school marching bands go by. Seems he and about two dozen seniors spent five hours on a little high school prank at their school, which made the local papers a few decades ago. Best I not repeat it here for fear the next generation will feel inspired to continue his legacy.
I also ran into dogs sporting tiny little cowboy hats about the size of a teacup. One, dressed in a furry little leopard version, probably gave a shout out as the animal rescue organizations marched by — but to no avail.
Several high school marching bands — complete with brass, drums and all sorts of fanfare – strutted their stuff. Some were accompanied by cheerleaders, both male and female. And a large group of Arizona Twirling Athletes made their mark with a sparkling red, white and blue float.
Mojave Middle School students deserve high praise for cheerfully cleaning up after all those high-stepping horses. At one point I overheard a man suggest he’d vote for any politician willing to do the same.
Lots of scouting groups took part in the parade, and red wagons passed by every so often attached to folks selling Girl Scout cookies. I forget, do any of their cookies have the word “sunshine” in their name?
No matter, I suppose. Because the real stars of the parade were those representing veterans. Onlookers clapped with genuine enthusiasm as people representing our MIA/POW citizens, and various wars or branches of the military, went by. Law enforement was well received as well.
Several giant balloons added a larger than life feel to the event, one of many dubbed an official part of Arizona’s centennial celebration. Think giant Saguaro cactus, coyote and more. Plus a silvery snake head on wheels.
Plenty of old cars, trucks and souped up (or down) vehicles made their way down Scottsdale Rd. too — reminding me of parades I attended many decades ago in the tiny South Dakota town where my father grew up. My favorite, of course, was a fire truck from the Hall of Flame museum in Phoenix.
To all the children and youth who smiled and waved while marching down a long parade route in the Arizona sun — you did an amazing job. No doubt friends and family looked on with pride, thinking all the while: You are my sunshine.
Note: You’ve still got plenty of time to enjoy a myriad of events celebrating Arizona’s 100th birthday — click here for ideas. And click here to learn about upcoming events from the Parada del Sol organization.
Coming up: Festivals celebrating native cultures, High school musicals