On Saturday, our Elks lodge members marched as part of the Cloverdale Rodeo Parade. The lodge is 60 years old this year and this is the 60th consecutive year the Cloverdale Elks have taken part in the parade. (The Rodeo has been around since 1945 and the Country Fair has been running for over 120 years.)
The Parade is a real community event. While the Rodeo draws people from all over, the Parade really pulls out the local crowds. Still, it’s not difficult to get a curbside seat for the event, except maybe along Cloverdale’s main street. But there were people along all of the streets during the 50 minutes or so that it took for us to wind our way along the parade route that circled the town centre.
The weather looked a bit iffy earlier in the morning, but the sun broke out from behind the clouds just as the parade started.
We were behind a pipe band that was following a chugging gaggle of vintage cars. Behind us were the local berry queens and princesses and the tractor pulling the giant pumpkins – two of them; both over 1500 lbs. Somewhere, a group of Shriners looped about on their minibikes.
The crowd waved at us. We waved back. Kids waved flags and let their helium balloons float up into the sky. Folks cheered from the balconies of apartments. It was all too much fun for such a simple activity.
What is it that makes parades so much fun? The noise? The colours? The smells? All those people looking and acting so differently from the way they do on every other day?
And, I wondered, who loves a parade the most? I figure its the youngest and the oldest of us.
That’s because those two groups really live in the present. Young kids do it naturally. You can see it in their eyes. The older learn that it’s the only way to enjoy what they’re doing – the other things in life can wait ’til just a little later.
The rest of us? Well, yah, the parade’s fun, but we’re also thinking about what we’re going to do next, what chores are waiting at home, what’s on next week’s to-do list at work, and what we’re going to make for dinner when the relatives come over later.
We could take a hint from those enjoying life near either of its two ends.
Summer is just starting. Go find a parade. Push all those other thoughts wa-a-ay into the background – and just watch and wave.