This is a big weekend for parades--and I can't wait.
Memorial Day weekend officially began last night when the Boy Scouts and the American Legion placed flags on the graves of all the deceased veterans in town. That, the color guard in the parade, and the presentation of a memorial wreath at the monument downtown are the moments when we are reminded what Memorial Day is really about.
But there's a fun side to the day, too. Our parade has marching bands--at least two. There will be a few string bands as well, inspiring the crowd to dance and clap as the banjos and saxophones pass by. And since we're near Philadelphia, some of our string bands are Mummers: they participate in a fierce New Year's Day competition every year for best costumes, music, and even set design (though they don't bring the sets around to other parades during the year.) These musicians don't just play and march--they strut, a special Mummer move that all the kids like to imitate.
Of course, we'll see the Little League teams, the Girl Scouts, and lots of fire trucks from the surrounding towns. We'll see the high-school Junior ROTC marching in formation. Kids watching the parade will eagerly await the candy and bubble gum that is tossed to them from the fire trucks, floats, and teams marching by.
And when the last fire truck has rolled down the main street, we'll all pick up our lawn chairs and head to the firehouse, where the Boy Scouts have hot dogs and drinks waiting for all the parade participants and spectators.
After the parade, of course, it's picnic time!
I hope you have great weather for all your picnics on this long weekend. But please take some time out to remember why we celebrate this day.
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