Yesterday was the epitome of down home fun, mom’s homemade apple pie, sticky fingers on a warm summer day fun mixed with a bit of Northern California eclectic goodness.  It was the annual 4th of July celebration in our town.  We have a town “square” (which is really pretty big-we have two playgrounds, a duck pond, lots of great grassy areas, big shade trees, a rose garden, city hall, a band shell, etc.) that had the typical art vendors, food booths, kids corner (with jumpy houses and slides) and of course beer and wine booths and our annual parade (which we were in this year!). 

So let me start from the beginning, Ryder’s school had a sign up sheet for the parade – so of course I was the first name on the list (or the second) and they were also taking ideas for the float.  Again, I wanted to help come up with a great theme.  So I racked my brain and finally the light bulb went off, I was looking at their sign (which has a dragonfly – kinda like their mascot) and I thought how can we incorporate that into the theme.  So I came up with”soaring high on the wings of knowledge”. 

Basically I came up with an idea of making a giant dragonfly to hang from the float and then I had to figure out a way to incorporate that with a catchy saying.  So the teachers said they loved it and onward we pressed.  I volunteered to create the dragonfly- you know how you have an image in your head and then when you start to figure out the engineering of it- things start to seem harder.  Well we had a couple rough spots, but for the most part it went as I had planned.  Of course, working at a home improvement store I thought of materials we have here.  So I grabbed a 4 ft. piece of pvc and some copper wire. Bought a $.99 beach ball and started paper macheing.  That was the most challenging part but after a couple days of tweaking here and there- the dragonfly came alive! 

 

We had a float decorating party the night before the parade and decorated the kids wagons, etc.  while the kids ran around and raged- it was a blast! The float was decorated like the classroom, we had one of the tables, their calendar, their little exercise equipment and some other misc. items.

Then came the day of the parade, an early morning, some last minute touch ups and off we go….. I think the parents were more into it than the kids, but they did have fun. 

 I have vowed to be in the parade every year.  Much better than dealing with the crowds on the street (b/c our town gets packed) and you gotta love waving to everyone – there’s something fun about that.  So while the kids are in preschool I will continue to volunteer every year and then if at any point their school decides to not do it- I think I’ll make my own float (great platform to get your opinion out there!).

Much to my surprise, the teachers told me they are going to hang the dragonfly up in the classroom.  I was thrilled to hear that.  I guess it’ll be their mascot.

So on to the square, waited in long lines to jump on some inflatable thing (but that is what childhood is about), paid too much for some mediocre veggie burgers, sat in the shade and chatted amongst friends, enjoyed some adult beverages (Doug) and listened to the typical “fair” bands playing in the background.  Headed over to our friends for yummy dinner (and for Ryder to play some more- as if he hadn’t been playing all day) and parked the car on the way home to catch the fireworks.  Both kids were asleep in our arms before the first firework went off.  It was your Norman Rockwell kinda day.

Sweet dreams sleepy heads – until next year!