Independence Day Parade – with about 90 trillion photos

What kind of small town would we be if we didn’t have a Independence Day parade?  None at all, that’s what.  Every year rain or shine, we have a parade down main street of our local Big Town, not to be confused with the Big City

This year was a bit different though because I have a feeling we had someone famous there, but being that I live out in the sticks with no TV, I really have no clue who they are.  I just know they stuck out like sore thumbs.  I love it when people stick out like sore thumbs.  I am a people watcher from way back, andI was graced with these guy’s presence the whole parade because they sat directly accross the street from me.

Apparently they’re pretty cool because these girls couldn’t resist coming up to them and shaking their hands.  They bounced around, tossed their hair and were just as fun to watch as our Cool Dudes.

And it just wouldn’t be right to watch an Independence Day parade in California without smoke masks on.  Now I think these women went a little over the edge because it was a fairly clear day considering what we had been through.  At least no ash was falling!  But I can’t exactly judge their actions being that they might be out-of-towners and don’t know any better.

Then there’s the motorcycle with a side car and dogs in it, you have to have one of those!

Then you’ve got your flag wavers, my baby joined that group pretty quickly.  It kept her entertained and that was wonderful being the parade was held during her normal nap time.  Without that flag things could get a little dicey.

Looking down the street you see all the locals and touristas gathered and waiting… watching…

Will the parade ever start?  Thank goodness for mild weather and slight cool breezes.  Sometimes waiting for the parade to start can be a sweaty proposition.

Ooohhh, I’m a sucker for collies, especially smart ones my parents do NOT currently have a smart one.  Seems they’re a bit more rare these days.  I grew up with collies, the sable colored ones, and that is about the best dog you can have.  But unfortunately with all the breeding they’ve done, the breed is now a foo foo dog without a brain though you can spend big bucks for the original ranch style and that is a dog you wouldn’t mind spending the big bucks on.  They’re worth their weight in gold.

Oh goody, the color guard approacheth.

Our Superior Court Judge is on the far right and he has just become re-elected beating out a local boy who grew up here, went to highschool, left for college and came back as a lawyer. 

The Grand Marshal of our parade is the neatest little guy you’ll ever meet.  Jim is a sweetie and he was born and raised in our county.  He always says, “Well hello little lady,” when he sees me.  I was thrilled to see him as our Grand Marshal.

Here he is receiving a plaque from the manager of our local bank.  I was best friends with Candy’s foster daughter from eighth grade up through about our sophomore year.  Candy was once a beauty queen in the seventies, I can see it, can’t you?

And what we have here is… well… don’t ask ’cause I don’t know.  But you’ve always got to have one of those don’t-ask-cause-I-don’t-know things in a small town parade.  It is essential.

And my favorite exhibit every year since it’s been restored.  An old stage that travelled through out county.  This stage was discovered just a few years back in a barn, dusty, worn but otherwise in fairly good condition.  It was the main transportation back in the 1800’s from our Big City to our Big Town and around from small town to small town throughout are county. 

I adore the horses that pull it.  They are perfect and so powerful.  I bet their names are Ben and Gus or something like that.  It just seems to fit.

Another thing I love are the faces of people, such character.  This man’s face was wonderful, I love all the creases and lines.  His eyes seem to tell a story of guarding that stage through ambushes.

And what might have been a perfect picture was made even better by my mother’s beautiful donation of the top of her head.  Thanks mom.

And no small town parade would be a parade without a newly restored John Deere pulling a bunch of kids riding their smaller John Deeres.  Yep, if this exhibit wasn’t in the parade we would have had to cancel.

This girl is here to announce the arrival of the Chinese Dragons.  We have quite a bit of Chinese history from the 1800’s Gold Rush period and have the oldest Chinese Temple in the state here in this small town.  That’s right, we’re famous and we’re not affraid to show you just how it’s done.

She was pretty in to her job.

Next is the drums that the dragons move and dance to. 

Move it you big hairy beast, you don’t scare me, I’m a black belt in something or another.  Better yet, I can shoot faster than you can run!

Oh good, that worked, I could have been devoured and not lived to tell this parade tale.

What else should you have in your parade if you were to plan one… Something that really makes a parade successful?

That’s right, old cars.  They’re always in parades.  If there’s a parade without old cars, then it just ain’t fittin’.  I really liked the two above.

Next you have kids riding decorated bikes.

You must have these.

If you don’t it’s like making chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips.  But these kids were riding for a cause, for blue skies and no more smoke.  Amen.

What the…?  Aaahhh, yes, if you have a local small town hospital you should not be surprised by what they come up with.  They’re always obsessed with areas of the body that you are not too interested in discussing.

This lady was good.  She bobbed, weaved, and soared.  Her sign had me a bit concerned though – I wonder what that kid in the green shirt is giggling about?  See him?  There on the left.

Goodness gracious!  Close your eyes!

Moving right along… Yep, bag pipers.  They were pretty good too.

I think their name was something like “Louie and His Lungs.”  Not really.  But they did win first in our marching bands which I think was a little bias being that this was the first bag pipers band we’ve had.

Next is our solo rider with appropriate decorations.  You cannot have a parade without one of these.  If you don’t have one, hire out.  This lady was great.  I think she was in her 80’s and had been a horsewoman all her life promoting safety and good horsemanship.

She had a beautiful steed too.

Next is the huey.  You must have a huey, if not, it’s like having a freezer without frost.

Next is the band that should have won but didn’t.  Our first really good marching band.  And they were good.  It also helps that I knew some of them.

This is Brittany.  I’m taking photos of her wedding next month.  Oh, I sure hope I do a good job, pray for me.  Her parents and us are pretty good friends.  In fact her mom is the lady who owns one of my foals, Zapata.  I took photos of her and him on solstice.

This is Brittany’s little brother Andrew.  He is very muscally talented and just learned the beat (or whatever) for the snare drum the 24 hours earlier.

This is Taylor, Brittany’s little sister, Andrew’s big sister.  She’s a middle child but oh so smart and a straight A student.  She also practiced her little brains out for being the lead snare in this marching band.  She did an awesome job… I think it’s the way she holds her tongue that helps.

Ratta tat tat, ratta tat tat.  Right about now is when I get reprimanded for jumping in front of another shooter.  I got so into taking photos that I stepped right in front of this lady and she yelled at me.  I felt pretty bad, but she had a pretty bad attitude must have been the smoke, she was also sitting stationary in her chair… “Get up woman and move around a bit!”  I thought.  But I apologized profusely instead of saying something sarcastic which never helps anything.

Yes, you spotted them.  The every cocky, ever smart mouthed Little League All Stars team.  I can say they’re cocky and smart mouthed because Hubby umpires for them and has a blast.

Next is our Back Coungry Horsemen reps.  They had a lovely display of equines and packing gear.  Our neck of the woods is big packing territory because of the beautiful mountains we live in.  Granite peaks with alpine lakes… It’s something for you to behold.

I think I heard this mule humming, “Staring at the south end of north bound cattle.  The devil made the horse that I ride…”  Name that song, if you listen to Micheal Martin Murphy.

This group was full of faces with character. 

This little guy really had me.  He was so neat to watch and take pictures of.  His hat is absolutely perfect… A fit to the T.

And your parade wouldn’t be a parade without your local hot rod club.

I liked this car.

Here’s our local swim team.  They dropped their lane divider thingy they were holding and demonstrated the butterfly and breast stroke.

Of course you HAVE to have fire trucks!  I always appreciate them being at the end with all their lights and sirens.  Thankfully they keep them away from the horses.

Shewww!  I’m done.  Free access to my blog for a year if you can name who these characters are.

I hope your Independence Day was as fun as mine… Signing off for now.



About mudranch

I live in the country, I love to take photos, I'm a shepherdess, I adore my husband and daughter, I walk in the will of Christ.

Posted on July 7, 2008, in Horses, Me, News. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Holy Mackerals! Thanks so much for sharing. I had to work Friday and Saturday 12 hour nights and obviously we don’t get to a parade. Those pics are great! Love it!

  2. I wonder if that mule is thinking “what am I doing here?” Looks like a lot of fun for all. I can appreciate the humor of the lady from the hospital with the well endowed back end.

  3. Wow, your photos are awesome! Best I’ve seen this year and WAY better than mine. Ah well, I’m working on getting better as a photographer! Are you a professional photographer? Just wondered ‘cuz you mention taking photos at a wedding next month. Wowee! (Oh, I see a link to Estrellita Photographry, that’s prob. you, I’ll check it out). Hey, I’m a digital scrapbooker-for-hire in case you’d ever like a digital photo album custom-designed for you (or for a gift). I’d love it if you checked out my blog and/or website for more info and samples of my work. Many photographers would prefer to concentrate on taking pictures and outsourcing (to someone like me) the album creation. Anyway, good luck with all your endeavors! Deborah (

  4. Hey, that was only 80 trillion! Where is the other trillion? 😉

    My guess is those boys are in a band, of some sort.

    What kind of camera do you use? It takes such nice shots. I really felt like I was at your parade. Of course, all the horse and mule pictures were my favorite. (The hot rod was cool, too!)

  5. This post was awesome. Usually parade photos seem mundane, boring and like all the others. BUt not only do you have an eye for the unique and original, but you know just where and how to add humorous sub-titles and comments. I’m glad I wasn’t sipping anything ior it would have ended up on my keyboard and computer! haha

    My favorites were the Dad with the red,white, and blue plaid shorts! Where do you buy something like THAT? Bwahaaha!

    And or course the old woman with the ‘exposed’ backside. But weirdly enough was the use of an Independance Day parade to advertise Colonoscopyies. Ha! My neighbor just had one done YESTERDAY, matter of fact. Wonder if she saw your parade and got motivated? hahaha!

    All the horses were the very best part of the parade, though. Your area sure has some gorgeous equines, that’s for sure. How do you like living in such a small town where you know just about everybody (except those dudes who look like they’re in a band, that is).?

  6. catchthevision

    Thanks for this. I really liked the richness of the pictures – a mixture of humanity and artistry!

    As someone from across the pond, I’ve been trying to understand why America is so very independent minded, and I’ve had some interesting comments.

    I wonder what you think? Have a look at “Happy Independence Day, USA!”

    Oh, and if you look under “Surprises can be fun!” you’ll see a picture of our wonderful collie!


  7. Rachelle Hobbs

    It was great to be home for the 4th and enjoy all the festivities!! So glad we got to see eachother and hope we can do it again soon! 🙂

  8. The next best thing to the collie, much smarter than the foo foos and pretty as all get out, is the Australian Shepherd. We love our Babies. And they haven’t yet been bred to the hilt, being fairly new to the AKC.

    Here’s a portrait of our first one, who had sleek hair. Unusual in the Aussies, I think, but she was a beauty.

  9. I loved looking through your photos – makes me a little sad I spent the 4th on the opposite coast. We did watch fireworks in DC again this year, which is exciting, but it doesn’t have the same hometown feel… I’m going to make it back for a 4th in Weaverville one of these years!

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