Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why I Love My Neighborhood, July 4th Edition

Every July 4, my neighborhood puts on a wonderful, homegrown parade. We've been participating since our children were babies, and we love it.

Folks decorate themselves:

their dogs:

and their many different methods of conveyance in red, white, and blue. There are bicycles and strollers:

Mini motorized vehicles:

Little red wagons:

Cool convertibles:



Lots of scooters:

and a few conveyances that defy description:

Some of our more enterprising neighbors create their own "floats." A Harry Potter float! How cute is that?:

This float held the local elementary school principal. On the back it says, "The more you read, the more you know." Sweet!:

Lucky kids scored a spot on the floats:

and a lucky dog did, too:

We assemble in the parking lot of the elementary school:

The Hubby was there, with our pugs. Years ago, our children loved to decorate their bicycles and trikes. Now, with them all grown up, I take my patriotic fervor out on my pugs:

They had a ball!:

With John Philip Sousa marches blaring from loudspeakers on one of the floats, we set off:

And with the help of the local police, we parade through the streets and across intersections:

Lining the streets, enthusiastic neighbors wave and cheer and add to the merriment:

This clever family turned the parade into part of their party, complete with viewing booths and chairs for their guests and a microphone for the lady-of-the-house/announcer to do color commentary as we passed:

They had their own sound guy, too, to blare out patriotic tunes:

Like an old-fashioned, little town, we made our own fun, and everyone joined in, from the very young:

To the young at heart:

As we walked, we straggled a bit, and the Sousa marches were harder to hear at the back of the parade. This teen helped fill in the musical gap with some sprightly, patriotic fiddlin':

and right behind him, his momma carried his violin case:

This fife-and-drum corps also marched in the parade:

Love the costumes, don't you?:

The parade wound through our streets to end up at the park:

Where the local homeowners' association...

Greeted us with lots of goodies to eat, including corn dogs, watermelon...

and cupcakes!

The cupcakes disappeared faster than you can say "Yankee Doodle Dandy":

One little girl managed to hang onto her cupcakes:

My dogs loooooove watermelon!

After we ate, we had a chance to meet some of the more unusual pets that people brought to the parade. There was "Chris," the chicken:

It's pretty rare to see a pet chicken around these parts. This bird wears a leash!:

Totally calm and composed, Chris tolerated the endless attention like a real lady:

She even kept her cool when Won Ton pushed in for a closer look--and smell:

Another flurry of excitement was going on alongside this van, which was parked near the food tents. These are wolf hybrids:

One of our neighbors has a license to raise them. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, these particular hybrids are more wolf than dog:

And if wolves sticking their noses out of a van wasn't enough to cause a stir, they had seven 5-week old wolf puppies! (I asked the lady; she said they call them puppies, not cubs):

It wasn't easy to get a good shot of the puppies, because there were so many people eager to pet them:

Oh, my freakin' gosh. Is this not the cutest thing ever? Look at those toenails! Those are NOT dog toenails:
I love my neighborhood for many reasons, but one is because of its ethnic mix. We all came together to celebrate a day dear to all our hearts, no matter what our background:

It makes me happy for our future. Grateful I live in a land of freedom and opportunity. Aware of my blessings.

Couldn't have said it better than this.


  1. Oh I love it! So darn cute and makes me a little homesick. And our fuzzy butt guys look great in their ribbons. So cute.

  2. Wonderful! Fun! Heartwarming! Colorful! Nostalgic! Makes we want to break into song:"God Bless America"! I could almost hear the happy commotion and taste the watermelon. Thanks for the very professinal presentation! xoxo



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