Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grand Feature Parade

The weather was warm but slightly overcast, and it seemed like many of us were more subdued than usual  during the Grand Feature Parade. It may have been the long work week for some or the very exciting day on Friday.
Nevertheless, it was certainly relaxing to sit outside for hours and be entertained in the company of our good friends and family.
We saw some great floats,
                                                                   a pretty pony,
                                                            a family member,
                         and maybe you can tell me what this is supposed to be:!

All said, it was  "Rhapsody in Bloom"!

Kids' Bloomin' Mile

This year, we decided to join our cousins and friends who run in the "Kid's Bloomin' Mile".

Almost 1300 kids signed up to run 1 mile around our local high school's exceptionally beautiful campus. An orthodontists' office sponsors this event as part of the official Apple Blossom festivities. Included with the 15.00 registration fee, each child received a Tee shirt, a souvenir computer chip for their shoe to record their time as they cross the finish line and a dental hygiene kit with toothbrush, paste and floss. It seems like a stroke of genius to advertise orthodontics to this age group of 6-14 year olds and their parents!
We all got there early to register and brought drinks and snacks because after the race we all planned to attend the parade and fireworks, which we did!
The kids used their time wisely and we all enjoyed hanging out together on this lovely afternoon, waiting for the races to begin.

The miracle of cell phones made it so easy for other family members to find and catch up to us in this crowd.

For safety, the race was subdivided into age and gender groups because of the sheer number of individuals who entered to run in it.  In the Boys group, age 10-11 we had K.,C.,J., and our friend E. running.
In Girls, 10-11, we had Mh.,and A. running.

The city streets in this area were closed for not only the race but also for the parade, and the police provided an escort for each of the races both at the front and after the last runner (or walker) had come in.

My niece,  Miss K., who is a talented photographer, offered to take action shots for me and captured this photo finish of  J. giving it his all! This 7 year old athlete came in 10th in his age group with a mile in 7 minutes, 44 seconds! There are a whole lot of adults who couldn't beat this time!
After racing, each child was given water and other refreshments and a commemorative medallion.
  The last race was Girls, ages 6-7. K. and J. ran in this together.

This was a wonderful event that was put on for the children by many volunteers from the area's adult running club. After the race, we all watched the Firefighters' Parade mentioned in an earlier post and then stayed to watch these spectacular fireworks!
The whole day, beginning with the Firefighters' Rodeo, through the race, parade and fireworks, spent in the company of family and friends was a delight for us all, for which I am grateful!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Firetruck Rodeo and Parade

Before the largest Firefighter's Parade in the universe, most of the fire companies gather to compete against each other in certain areas of preparedness. The public is invited to observe and experience the trucks up close. This truck is privileged to display the actual "9-11" Flag which was flying at the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks over ten years ago.
The boys attended on scooters and skateboards.
One vehicle was open for the kids to climb into.
The trucks were being judged on cleanliness which certainly must be next to Godliness in the duties and priorities of a firefighter.
Later that evening we attended the parade and saw  the 9-11 flag carried unfurled through the streets. I read in the newspaper that many individuals have sewn "stitches" into this flag to refurbish it back to good condition after it was so severely damaged.
We watched the parade with many of our cousins and saw other cousins while we were there! One sight that we didn't enjoy was "Fanny" who didn't budge an inch after she got her vantage point!
This year, due to overwhelming public demand, they allowed one whole section of the parade to put on their flashing lights and screech their sirens continuously! That was kind of scary- it was SO loud that the babies had to have their ears covered. It made you think that something really big was going on.

This parade is a chance for the dedicated firefighters from all over the area to show off their trucks and equipment and for all of us to show them how much we appreciate their hard work and the many sacrifices they make in order to protect our homes and families.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pride and Prejudice

When I read that the college theater was performing "Pride and Prejudice", I at first  considered inviting all the ladies in the family to attend together. That was only half of our group, however, because the men were also willing to join us.
We had quite a party of folks and everyone was ready for a pleasant evening at the theater.
I enjoyed being able to invite my family out for a special evening (Thanks, Honey!) and was thrilled that everyone could make it, with the exception of our two sets of young parents.
The program claimed that the play was a faithful adaptation of the book. That turned out to be an understatement. The play was almost like having the book read aloud in its entirety!
With our large group, we were seated towards the back of the auditorium and it was quite a bit of work to hear the actors and actresses who delivered, in English dialect, long speeches which they had impressively memorized. Tim said that he wished he could turn on his phone to use the dictionary app!
The first act was an hour and fifteen minutes! It seemed like they didn't leave out a single chapter.
Almost everyone behaved well and tried to be a good sport throughout this long performance. You really had to be familiar with the story to understand it and the movie was so much more exciting. We all agreed that the next time we go to the theater, a musical would be a better choice. In fact, after it was over, I promised them all a Klondike because it was like reading a book!
I felt pride in my family for suiting up and showing up but should have realized that long speeches in  highfaluting language would set up a prejudice in individuals who prefer a lighter form of entertainment and that might even include myself!