|My first Penngrove Parade...
Voice Teen Correspondent
The July 6 Penngrove Parade was the first I had ever attended on account of never having heard of the event before. I ended up very entertained by the seemingly never-ending demonstration of cars and animals that were incorporated into it.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into it, so I prepared myself for anything. When I got to the parade, there was already an abundance of excited people awaiting the start of the festivities. I found a spot in the sun where I could watch everything and settled in.
Naturally – red, white and blue
The color scheme naturally was mostly red, white, and blue, which perfectly coordinated with the military themed event. Almost every person in the crowd was wearing patriotic clothing and hats, and if they themselves weren’t, then their dogs definitely were. Most dogs I saw had tutus on and flowers in their fur.
The heat was intense if you were standing directly in the sun, where the temperature reached 81 degrees. The weather set the stage for some of the aspects of the parade, as two vehicles, one being a fire truck, took the opportunity to spray the people closest to them with cold water. I was standing too far away to feel the water, but those who got sprayed looked far from upset.
The actual beginning of the parade was marked by four military personnel, two men and two women, marching down the street with large American flags and drill rifles.
From then on, a variety of old car groups and regular old car enthusiasts drove at very slow speeds down the road, including one with a giant pair of mounted bull horns as decoration to the hood.
Some of the people who were in the parade were advertising businesses, or calling attention to the groups, such as M.O.M.S (Mothers Of Military Service members). A drove of military vehicles were brought in to be part of the parade under the North Bay Military Vehicle Club, and it was very cool to see old war vehicles with guns attached.
Dignitaries grace parade route
The parade was visited by very important people, like Congress member Mike Thompson and his wife, Janet, who rode like the Kennedys in the back of an old car. Also, there were Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty, who were driving down the street in a heavily decorated PT Cruiser. Uncle Sam in particular was very energetic and appeared happy to be at the parade.
Some highlights of the event were the two groups of beauty pageant winners/runner-ups, the groups being from the “Dairy Princess” and the “Miss Sonoma County” competitions.
In numbers almost as great as the old cars, horses were heavily featured in the show and they were on-the-whole without any problems.
The “Gone to Glory Brass Band” played their instruments all the way down the street and were refreshing when there was no other music being played in the background of the parade.
Among the other performances was a float advertising a costume rental place with pirates and pilgrims dancing and demonstrations of old tools and tractors.
Hitting the downtown scene
In addition to all of that, the Nave Patrol visited the masses, dressed in old war uniforms and fake moustaches to march down the street. Its members later returned to be among the first into one of the local bars, all while entering the bar in a perfect single file line.
As the parade ended, many of the people out there decided to visit some of the shops along the street, a number of them also going into the bars to have fun with other members of the community. People who attended looked very proud, especially when flags were out and the military was featured in any of the events.
All-in-all, the parade seemed to be the best way for the community to come together after the end of the Fourth of July holiday. It was a day of fun that also celebrated the history behind the holiday in a way that inspired people to work with each other instead of against, and to help each other out when someone is in need.