Last Saturday I went to thePark Road Parade in West Hartford. I try to do some activities here and there that are community oriented. I loved being there. Historically, I am not a fan of parades.
Here’s the thing: I was scared of the fire truck sirens as a child. Ergo, I don’t like parades. But this parade had no loud sirens. The West Hartford Fire Department was indeed there but sans sirens. It was my dream come true.
Okay, so as an adult, I’ve always thought parades we too schmaltzy or tacky. I guess in reality, they are meant to be. What I loved about this one was the crowd. I stood near this group of people — a married couple and a father with his daughter and dog. The dg was a golden retriever puppy. If I ever got a dog — I think it might be a golden retriever or perhaps an italian greyhound, because they are so adorable. I love dogs, alomost as much as cats, but what I really love is petting dogs on the street rather than owning them. But I digress.
So this “family” — the married couple, father, daughter, and dog — were really funny. They were the smartass type, poking fun at some people in the parade. And there were some people that were pretty funny. There were several parade members that were just some random schmoes advertising for their business. Part of the Park Road Parade is for Park Rd businesses to have floats. But these people we like from Bristol, and they would just drive in a car with a sign attached saying “Creative Innovations” or some such random business. Don’t get me wrong. Small business is a necessary part of our economy. Each of my parents is a small business owner, competitors, in fact, but they don’t go out to the West Hartford parade.
One of the guys kept trying to scare the daughter by pointing out the lone clowns that were in the parade, saying that it’s okay if a bunch of clowns get out of a car, but a clown by itself is usually one of those scary murderous ones. The girl was probably about middle school age, old enough to hold her own. Basically, these people had me laughing through almost the entire parade. I can’t say they had the kindest sense of humor, but that had the kind of sense of humor that I grew up on, and the kind I still treasure.
Then the highlight came. Scott Neilson walked Ernest and Lilly in the Pug portion of the parade. Ernest and Lily are pugs, hence being part of the pug parade. When Scott saw me, he left the parade to chit chat with me, and immediately about 25 kids surrounded Ernest and Lily. I’ll have to get some pics of them on my blog.
The other really cool part was that four K-O students were marching with the Citizens for Peace and Justice. As I watched the parade, I thought it was a bit sad that we didn’t have K-O representation. We don’t have a marching band like the other area schools, but it would be nice to get some involvement.
Many politicians were also out campaigning, and I saw Beth Bye out there. She didn’t seem to be campaigning, but more attending and being part of the day. She is a mother, afterall. It was nice to see her enjoying the day, as I’m sure campaigning is pretty exhausting. I missed Jodi Rell, and frankly (sadly?) I don’t know what she looks like. This is the problem of getting one’s news on the radio. I’ll never forget seeing Tony Blair for the first time after listening to him on the radio. I was picturing some very handsome British dude. Let’s just say he had not lived up the my mental image.
All in all, it was a fun time, and I look forward to next year’s parade. Perhaps I am a reformed parade poo-poo-er.