Paul Bunyan Days/Labour Day 2010

Yesterday may have been Labour Day for most of the US and Canada, but here in Fort Bragg, it was the culmination of Paul Bunyan Days, a heady weekend filled with logging shows, ugly dog contests, and square dancing. The parade is the cap on the entire festival, as it were, and it usually includes an assortment of eccentric entries guaranteed to delight the heart and ensnare the senses. Notably absent this year were two of my favourite features; Tank Guy, the guy who drives a tank in the parade, and the assortment of logging trucks that usually enter. This year, not a single logging truck, which was very odd.

I skipped this parade last year, due to feeling generally out of sorts, but this year, I was determined to make it. I even charged my batteries and everything. And, as per usual, it did not disappoint, especially when I realised the Smell was actually a storm drain and I could relocate. This year’s theme was ‘Into the Redwoods With Paul and Babe,’ but it didn’t seem that much different, visually, from past years.

Babe the Blue...Goat!:A goat in harness.

Here’s a selection of some of my favourite sights, many many more at my Flickr. (I took 534 pictures, which I guess is what happens when you have a fast shutter drive!)

Paul and Babe: A goat with blue body paint and a set of blue plastic horns, pulling a small cart. The goat's handler is wearing jeans, big boots, blonde braids, a plaid shirt, and a huge grin.

There were several Paul and Babe entries. This one was my favourite. The goat’s handler was quite lovely! Astute readers may recognise goat and handler from Mendocino’s Fourth of July Parade.

Search and Rescue: A member of the fire department, wearing a gorilla suit and bunkers, driving a small vehicle towing a search and rescue boat.

Every year, cracks me up, every time.

US-Mexican Relations: A group of horses and riders. The riders are dressed like vaqueros and waving US and Mexican flags.

I love these horses and their riders. In addition to being beautiful, the horses also dance. That dappled grey you see there in the background was gorgeous.

Shriners and Paul Bunyan: An old fashioned car driven by a Shriner in an antique police uniform, with Paul Bunyan in the back seat.

The official Paul Bunyan marched at the head of the parade, and when it looped back on itself, he hopped in the car with the Shriners for another round.

Republican Central Committee: A small tractor, bedecked in redwood branches and driven by a single woeful looking republican.

This is the Republican Central Committee’s entry. I don’t understand either.

Draft Horses Look Both Ways: Two draft horses, pulling a cart. They are poised at an intersection, and each member of the team is looking in a different direction.

These horses, in addition to being beautiful and very calm, as draft horses tend to be, belong to a local high school teacher.

Fliers: Cheerleaders in purple and white uniforms, practicing a routine. They are in the act of catching a cheerleader as she flies through the air.

Unfortunately, someone thought it would be hilarious to heckle the cheerleaders with ‘cheerleading is not a sport’ as they went by. I somehow ended up in the section of the parade apparently marked ‘unclassy assholes’ because they heckled pretty much every entry as abusively as possible. Sigh.

Marching Lumberjacks: Raise That Axe!: A member of the Humboldt State Marching Lumberjacks, carrying a large axe and raising it in the air.

No Paul Bunyan Days parade is complete without the Marching Lumberjacks, whom I have the giantest crush on. (I am pretty sure that if you go back through older Paul Bunyan Days entries, every single one will mention how much I love the Lumberjacks.) They are the world’s coolest marching band:

Marching Lumberjacks: Flute and Mohawk: The brass section of the Marching Lumberjacks. The only 'uniform' band members have in common is a Marching Lumberjacks yellow shirt. Otherwise, anything goes, including mohawks, utilikilts, and giant yellow hard hats.