I submitted this article to the Sierra Sun Times:
Imagine that the parade route was a string of shiny pearls singularly cascading, as it would itself into downtown Truckee. Then each third shiny pear of that string was a contagiously happy float or entry. As a spectator at the finish line of the route, I cheered while periodically adjusting my straw hat, clapping and waving with all the patriotism that welled up inside of me.
The Fire Trucks and law enforcement vehicles were impressive as they wound their way to downtown. Then, there was this dance team that resembled a freestyle conga line. They wowed us with their hip and jazzy dance moves, keeping us all entertained – without appearing to look winded at all. Then came the gymnastics team with their innovative moves, high spirits and beautiful costumes. Then, there was the militaristic drill team, albeit they carried skis, not rifles. The camaraderie they enthused was nothing short of contagious!
The equestrian ladies were beautiful, their male counterparts handsome. The horses brought smiles to the young ones. The saddles were reminiscent of the Old West (I just wanted to take one home for myself).
The Western wear were the spitting image of days gone by, yet a reminder of how beautiful the United States of America’s history is, and all the awe that goes with it coming from the spectators who could have only imagined what it was like back then.
Truckee is important, because it tends to leave indelible images of how the West was, is and may be – to come. The landscaping entry into the parade, complete with the people who work to keep the Truckee grounds beautiful, made an impression on me too, just as much as the freestyle conga line.
They say that what you see day-to-day in any small town is a representation of the larger whole – well that’s what this year’s parade was all about in Truckee. The children in particular cheered enthusiastically, some of them with super water soaker guns – their way of amplifying all the good fun. Did I mention the silly string? Many of the parade marchers were either soaked or attempted to be covered with silly string. Some of those same parade marchers were equipped with water themselves – to be unleashed unto the crowd (I too got partially soaked!).
I likened the on-the-move parade to a shiny string of pearls. Translation: If it were a string of wooden beads, every second and fourth one would look like a shiny example of the Old West was. Translation: If it were a luminescent string of crystalline amber beads, every third one would be a float or entry that shows off our fire and police enforcement, a modern-day cavalry in these parts. Translation: If it were a string of giant gumballs, each swirly bead was a red, white, and blue symbol of what America is all about.
Then guess what? A cowboy shook my hand. He was dressed in authentic garb – straight from just participating in the parade – and my day became a happy and complete one.