Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Everyone Loves A Parade

Since 1979, our town has held it's annual Apple Festival the second weekend of October.  I have been to each and every festival.  I would not dare miss it!  The first year of the festival I was a wee little thing at 7 months old.  My mom bundled me in a snowsuit as it was FREEZING.  It is my understanding that there was an explosion of sorts.  Involving poo.  On my behalf.  My apologies, mom.  This year we could have not asked for better weather!  No snowsuits needed.  The boys sported shorts.

My favorite part of the festival is the Grand Parade.  It always has been and always will be.  Well, that and an apple dumpling!  The house I grew up in was located on the parade route.  BONUS!  It was awesome to watch endless bands, baton corps, Queens, and horse units make their way down the street from our front porch.

In the coming years, I began marching in the parade with the local baton corp and Brownie troop.  As I entered High School, I remember marching with the band and as a member of the Cheerleading squad.  My Sophomore year of High School I ran for Apple Festival Queen and finished as Runner-Up.  My title landed me a spot on the back of a Shriner's car waving to the crowd.  Thereafter, I held the titles of Ottawa County Jr. Fair Queen 1st Runner-Up, Ottawa County Jr. Fair Queen, and finally Ohio Fairs' Queen.  My time as Ohio Fairs' Queen granted me the opportunity to represent ALL of Ohio's County, Independent, and State fairs.  My family and I did an enormous amount of traveling that year!  You see where I am going, right?  I have taken part in a massive amount of parades.  Each one is unique.  However, there is a special place in my heart for the Apple Festival Parade.  After all, it takes place in the little town where I have resided my entire life (outside of my college years). 

When Eric and I bought our current home, I was pretty darn giddy that it was on the parade route.  For the past 7 years, friends and family have gathered on our front lawn to watch the parade.  It warms my heart to be surrounded by loved ones as we ooooh and ahhhh over the parade entries.  Last weekend, approximately 40 people joined us for the parade.  Our biggest crowd to date!  It was a great parade as well...almost 2 hours long!

Garrett sat on the curb outside of our house for nearly an hour and a half asking when the parade was going to start.  Fifteen minutes into the parade he had collected enough candy and wanted to go ride the Merry-Go-Round.  Figures!

Lord only knows what Hudson was thinking during his first parade...he sure is cute, though!

Hudson and my Papa (my paternal grandfather).  My Papa has held each one of my boys during their first parade and I have a photo documenting the occasion.  Love it!!!  Love them!!!

Ryder and my nephew, Breydan.  You couldn't tell by this photo, but Ryder loved the parade and ate an OBSCENE amount of candy.  Or, at least I have been told by Aunt Leslie who he was chummy with that afternoon.

Where was Parker, you ask?!

Why, he was marching in the parade for the first time (joy...I almost cried!).  He joined other players from the Lake Erie Flag Football League as they made their way along Church and Main Street.  You will not find Parker on the float.  'Lil guy said he wanted to walk as (and I quote) it's healthier for you! Yea, he's a keeper!

He had the time of his life passing out candy! He declared it the best day of his life!  His earlier football game win of 44-12 had a little something to do with said declaration as well;)  The football league was very early in the parade line up; therefore, he returned home with plenty of the parade still to watch. You know, and still collect candy versus handing it out.

My nephew, Ashton, and Parker following the parade.  Can a Viking and 49'er be friends?  They have no choice. They are family.

Our next home will more than likely land us in the country.  As in not on the parade route.  Bummer!

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