Will Rogers once said, “parades should be classified as a nuisance, and participants should be subject to a term in prison.”
While I’m not that extreme, I would be lying to you if I said I was a fan of parades.
Even as a child, my parents will tell you they just don’t excite me that much.
Then again, I’ve been a weirdo since the doctor told my mother “PUSH!!!” on July 4, 1975!
They’re all the same to me really, like a soap opera. You already know what’s going to happen.
So when I covered the 2021 Lincoln County Fair Parade, of course I expected more of the same, and in many ways, it was.
However, in just as many ways – it wasn’t.
First off, the Lincoln County Fair is the latest of what I call my personal “Stolen Moments” tour.
It’s the name I’ve given to events I was supposed to have attended when I first arrived here in March of last year, but thanks to the pandemic, were taken away from me – but I have been given a second chance to attend.
High school spring sports in the area join this list, for they were the first things to be erased when I first landed back in Missouri in 2020 due to COVID-19. Thankfully, I was able to cover as many of those games as I could, culminating in Elsberry’s baseball team reaching the Final Four in Springfield.
Back to the parade. I asked numerous people in the crowd one question I had been hearing for several weeks leading up to the parade.
“Is it true people set up their lawn chairs the night before, or the morning of, the parade?”
The answer by most of them was a resounding, “YES!!!”
I had to laugh. Who the hell does this?
The only time I plan on setting up shop 24 hours prior to any event is before South Carolina Gamecock football – or my own funeral – and nothing else!
At the same time, I have to admire just how freaking awesome this is.
Also, covering the parade was a personal health test. I ended up walking around three miles up and down Main Street following the floats and shooting photos without being tired afterward, which is a minor miracle for me, given the humidity – and what I had gone through months before.
I’m not exactly the picture of health, and I only fully kicked the effects of the novel coronavirus five months ago, so if it sounds like I’m bragging that I pulled this feat of breathing off – YOU BET YOUR LIFE I AM!
While shooting photos, I spent some time camping beside some people who used an umbrella to catch candy from the floats. Once I told them to make themselves a little more obvious with the prop, it worked a lot better.
If you’re going to be greedy, be shameless with it! It’s only candy! Have some fun!
The only thing I wish I could do differently about the Lincoln County Fair Parade was that I wish I could have gotten some aerial shots.
Maybe I can do that next time!
While parades are still not my thing, it’s another sign of normalcy, and that’s what we need in this world.
After all, what else was I planning on doing on a Sunday evening?