I consider myself to be a holiday person. Typically I enjoy most of the festivities that accompany any holiday. Although I don't enjoy anything that could be considered overly materialistic, like putting oneself in debt for Christmas presents. I just like the holiday, food, sometimes family, friends, a reason to have a day off of work and celebrate. When I was a child I lived in a small town. Every year our small town had the best Main Street parade. The traditional kind of parade with marching bands, old cars, floats, horses, and candy. I am told that there are still parades like this in the area that I now live, but I have been hard pressed to find one. What is more common is children riding decorated bikes, scooters, and pulling wagons. Sometimes there are a few typical parade festivities, but our local parades seem to be more about the local children riding through on some sort of decorated child transport system.
Now I certainly have nothing against children doing this, nor do I begrudge the parents their early morning labor in order to produce this patriotic effect, I just can't get into it. I have tried, but the fact of the matter is, aside from perching my lazy self on a float and waving to the crowds as I pass, I just don't want to participate in a parade, I want to be enterained by the parade. Now I am sure that my kids would probably enjoy decorating (or having me decorate) their bikes and pedaling down Main Street to cheers and waves. To be fair we have done this. Three times to be exact. One year (when we had one child) we decorated her jog stroller and walked with other families in the parade. There are so many families walking in these parades that I am surprised that there are any observers. Another year we pulled a decorated wagon and I seem to remember at one time scooters being involved in a parade. I tried to be a good mom and enjoy doing this, but I just didn't. I like to do fun things with my kids, often I put my needs last and do what they would consider to be fun even if I do not. I just don't find decorating kid transportation and walking them in the parade to be, dare I say, tolerable.
Then there is the early morning aspect. To be in the parade, which usually starts early in the morning, you have to arrive 30 minutes to an hour early on a holiday when I am dying to sleep in. Now that my kids are older, they sometimes sleep in too. That didn't happen today though, my younger two were on a sleep over and I was informed that they woke up gleefully and loudly at the crack of 5:30 am. I don't think that they will be returning to that friends house for another go 'round any time soon.
The other thing is that our town does not have a parade. There is a neighborhood parade in a neighborhood near us, if I went I would probably know quite a few people. Suffice it to say that this parade is pretty much only kids on bikes and scooters. There is also a parade in the town immediately North of us, less than ten minute drive. Neither of these are real community events for me. If I have to paraticipate and not be entertained by the parade it would at least be nice to have it be a community event.
Our family usually does not much of anything during the day of July 4th and then we go to a party late in the afternoon and watch fireworks at night. That is our celebration and aside from the guilt about depriving my kids of walking in a parade, I am happy with it.