|The Honor Guard always leads the parade.|
On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a declaration of independence from the British Empire. The following day John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, the following: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
Adams missed the date by a couple of days – since the initial signings became more famous than the approval – but his prediction of celebration was right on the mark. The Fourth of July celebration is a tradition ingrained in the fabric of American life.
|In the spirit of the day|
Kenai celebrates the Fourth just like any other small town, except we don’t have fireworks. Fireworks are an exercise in eye strain due to the excessive daylight.
“Ooooh, that was a good one!”
“Ahhhh, nice puff of smoke and great boom. What color do you suppose it was?”
|The crowds gather early in anticipation.|
|Red, white, and ol' Blue|
To describe the Kenai parade as a highly organized and well choreographed event would be an inaccuracy. The only organization readily evident is placing the various horse riding clubs at the end of the parade. Over the years it has been determined that marching behind dozens of horses can prove problematic without dedicated intervention between the horses and those following.
Nor are the entry requirements particularly stringent. Just about anything mobile can join in the parade. A willingness to travel the mile-long route seems to be the only criteria for selection. Entries are everything from political candidates throwing candy, to the 4-H Club, to the Nikiski and Kenai Fire Departments, to Harley riders and even a school bus. (Years ago, the garbage trucks were spiffed and buffed for the event, but I suspect fly and odor issues put a nix on those entries.) This year the school bus was sporting something new, a sign advertising a need for drivers. Not hard to imagine the kind of damper a school bus puts on the celebration for kids.
|This entry in the parade is sure to put a damper on the festivities for the kids.|
|We have to trust nothing is going to catch fire while the parade takes place.|
|This year's winning float|
|Obligatory post-parade funnel cake|
|Low rider promoting spay and neutering - see entry requirements.|
Note to readers: I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Forgot the camera, and had to use my phone.