Monday, July 6, 2015

parade disappointment

Garrison Keillor's imaginary Lake Wobegon parade was much better, and possible to imitate. Uncle Sam lead the parade, and there followed Miss Liberty, and Betsy Ross. Parma's was well attended with many participants, and was crummy. There are three public high schools in Parma, it would have been better if they had a concert or something. They were ok, not much else as a highlight. These schools have theatre departments. There are adults interested in theatre and 'cosplay'. We have police, fire department, military at nearly all parades; and they led Parma's. Then this one had the elected officeholders--too many politicians and their platoons with colored tee shirts with the politico's name. Really, they have that many relatives and patronage appointees? The Republican US senator had (what looked like College Republicans) work the crowds passing out stickers, and a truck load of these people in the parade.

Garrison knew that whimsy and humour are appreciated by people. Wobegon had an ocarina band from the Catholic parish, and a precision pitchfork team. And they had horses, a team pulling a circus wagon and a sixteen team double hitch of Percherons (drafthorses) pulling another wagon. Okay, that we could not do here, but as big as the parade was, and no horses at all. People like horses and dogs in parades. An attempt could have been made to invite such groups. What they had instead were businesses advertising their presence. The fun factor was low.

It is a community, we can all acknowledge civic and social organisations. Non-liturgical Protestant churches latch on to everything to evangelise. Some come from beyond the community. Some are overly enthusiastic in passing out literature. There are many religious institutions, people are free to go and not to go, but everyone does not want to be propagandised to go to one particular one that was unfamiliar to one before this immediate encounter. One group had waves working the crowd. The hard sell is an American institution.

There were a couple of unintentional episodes of humour. Many of the parade marchers threw little candies out to children like chicken feed. Safety town unit marched with a sign "Don't take candy from strangers", and the incongruity was noted by many of the watchers. The other funny thing was, i presume now but not then, the last two units jumbled together. One was a church, and the other a Halloween fright house. Yeah, i dunno. Their last character was a gravedigger with shovel, top hat, and union gravedigger shirt.

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