So, for readers who are just tuning in, the Mendocino Fourth of July Parade is kind of a big deal. I mean, I love parades, as I never miss a chance to mention, and this parade is the grandaddy of all parades. The Parade. Everyone turns out for it, I get my annual sunburn, and it’s a glorious time, because Mendocino is a place filled with hippies and creative people and insane people, and it all comes out in The Parade. I usually break my parade posts into chunks just because there are a lot of photographs, and I like to savor the parade flavor for a few days, and in honor of our hardworking firemen and women and emergency services, I’m starting with them.
One thing I definitely noticed about this parade was that the new, shiny, actual functioning fire trucks were not out in force this year, for obvious reasons. Instead, they had the backup and muster vehicles out. And let me tell you, the applause for the firemen was sustained and awesome. I almost felt a patriotic fireman-loving tear in the corner of my eye, but it turned out to be Tristan’s hair.
The flag guard, which opened the parade. We have a Coast Guard station in Fort Bragg, so those are actually our genuine uniformed servicemembers, not a group we borrowed for the occasion.
Mendocino’s muster truck. For those of you who don’t know what musters are, they are fireman parties with old fire trucks. Please note that we were sitting across from the fire department.
One of Albion-Little River’s regular trucks.
One of Elk’s fire trucks, still in service. I drove this fire truck once! Not in a parade, though.
Another Elk truck.
Search and rescue! How can you not love that.
Search and rescue, showing off their toys.
An abalone diver, and prey. Abalone actually only have one foot, incidentally. Dive safe!
The VFW crew.