Small Town Americana

July 10, 2010

As I mentioned earlier, Chris and I spent the Fourth of July weekend up near Flagstaff, Arizona.  We rented a cabin with some friends in the tiny, tiny, town of Parks.

And it turns out, we came just in time to see THE event of Parks... the 4th of July Parade.

I truly, honestly, don't think you could get more small-town cliche than this.  It was quaint.  It was fantastic.

They started the morning with a free pancake breakfast over at the school.  The parade was scheduled for 1pm, and by 11am people were setting up lawn chairs along old Route 66.  There was BBQing and loud country music playing.  There were politicians out campaigning in their fine flannels and cowboy boots and hats, kissing babies and passing out flyers.  There was a community yard sale at the Shell station and a bake sale down the street.  (They donated all the unsold food stuffs to the elderly gentleman that runs the 76 station). 

And yes, in case you caught that, there are two gas stations in town.  Only one of them actually sells gas, though.  The other is more of a mini-mart, selling ice cream bars and beer, canned goods and toiletries, including a bar of dove soap for 49 cents that looked like it had been there since the price of a bar of soap really was 49 cents.

My friend and I rode our bikes down the community yard sale/BBQ cookout/Shell station, and went inside for some water.  As we were paying for our drinks, the man running the cash register got a phone call.

"Yes, the parade starts at 1pm.... it's over about 1:15... no it does not go down any side streets, have you seen any side streets? Where do you think you are?"

He rolled his eyes and smiled as he hung up the phone.  "Tourists."


They probably spent hours decorating

Nearly everyone was wearing some kind of patriotic headband...

The parade is starting!  The parade is starting!

The local sheriff passes out candy to the kids

There were tractors...

And fancy decorated trucks...

And chickens...

And prize-winning llamas...

Old cars

And cowboys

Fire trucks, firemen, and dogs...

And then it was over. Happy Birthday, America. XOXO, Parks, Arizona.


kate said...

That reminds me of the Mardi Gras parade in St. Joseph, MO. We went up a couple of years to see it while a friend lived there - it was really nothing more than a glorified line of pick-up trucks that were sparsely decorated and threw beads and Moonpies into the crowd :)