Long term readers know that the Fourth of July marks one of the highlights of my year. I eagerly anticipate it every year, and wake up in a froth of excitement on the day of to carefully organise my supplies and prepare myself for the two events that occur on this day every year, without fail: The Mendocino Fourth of July Parade and my annual sunburn.
Mendo’s parade has acquired a rather mythological status. Not for us the usual array of marching bands, politicians in convertibles, and fire trucks. Oh, we have all of those things, to be sure. But we also have naked women draped in seaweed gyrating on flatbed trucks, fisticuffs between parade participants, random farm animals, cavalcades of peace marchers, military recruiters greeted with stony silence, and other assorted characters.
The parade is the event of the year. Everyone, and I mean everyone, ventures out for the parade. There are people that I only see once a year, on the Fourth. I perch in the back of someone’s pickup truck and watch the parade go by, and people of all sorts drift past and we connect. The official high school reunion is usually held on the weekend of the Fourth, but everyone’s found in Dick’s Place, a seedy bar with an unbeatable view, the night of the parade, and that’s the real reunion. It is the one day a year that I always take off, without fail.
People view the parade from couches strapped on their roof racks:
We (note: I am not in this picture) chose to congregate around and in a friend’s truck to survey the sights:
Following is a selection of some photos from this year’s parade, to provide a sort of cross-section of the sights. I took over 300 pictures at the parade, and uploaded about half of those. If you’re interested in seeing more, check out my Mendocino Fourth of July Parade 2010 set on Flickr.
I wasn’t kidding about that ‘women wrapped in seaweed’ thing.
I ran into Mendo Parents for Peace while I was meandering my way to my parade viewing spot. They were organising their signs and floral displays.
It is possible that our Democrats are not like your Democrats.
Hey, why not?
A Boxer supporter wheeling with the Democrats. (Don’t worry, Babs, we won’t let Fiorina win!)
This guy comes every year. Usually he has a duck too.
Your eyes do not deceive you.
This hearse is beautiful. The owner cares for it meticulously and it is just gorgeous up close.
My friend is in the band.
One of the local theatre companies is doing a production of La Cage Aux Folles, evidently.
The MacCallum House always has the best floats.