Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ask Not For Whom The Cow Poops

Because, unfortunately, it poops for no one. Cow Pie Bingo was unexpectedly canceled yesterday, perhaps due to Bovine Constipation. (For the non-Midwesterners: a pen is marked off in squares, those squares are sold for $5 a pop, and then a cow is put in the pen, and whatever square the cow poops in, the square holder wins, up to $500, to the delight-or disappointment- of the cheering crowd). But even without that diversion, yesterday held everything a small-town 4th of July Celebration should, and more.

You had your parade, with families wearing patriotic hats. And your pretty girls in convertibles. And you had your soldiers and flags (our Guards have already done a stint in Iraq and may have to go back), and your huge agricultural machines, and fire trucks with sirens blaring. And your politicians running for office. And businesses throwing out candy by the bucket load to the children lining the street (who come to parades armed with grocery bags for loot). You had your cool old cars. You had your class reunions sitting on flatbed trucks, already celebrating. You had your Boy Scouts on little racers. You had your large fiberglass town mascots, and coffin tractors.
And you had your horsies, one of which decided to dump its rider right in front of us, and bolt toward the startled crowd.

After the parade, you had your activities at the Fair Grounds- face painting (one lone painter, toiling in the sun, with lines of little girls who waited over an hour for their turn), balloon launching, horse and buggy rides, grilled bratwursts, and a beer garden (possibly for those who stood in line for over an hour with little girls who wanted to get their faces painted).

Firecrackers, etc are legal in South Dakota, so the air was peppered with cracks and pops and the scent of gunpowder all day. At home, we grilled steaks and had watermelon, and swam all afternoon, while the girls lit smoke bombs. And when it finally got dark enough, the city put on a grand fireworks display (which my camera refused to record).

The weather could not have been more perfect- I don't think I ever remember a 4th so mild and beautiful (in the mid 80's, low humidity). Today, there is a car show in the park, mud volleyball (which I may go watch), and tonight there is a street dance (which I won't attend, but I will probably be able to hear, even out in the country where I live).

I love my town.


Ann said...

The Fourth in Redfield is in microcosm what America should be about. We were there last year for it, and I don't think I've felt so patriotic since I was a child. It was good to see pictures of Leo's (best breakfast in the world) and Terry's (best decorations (bearskin outlined in Christmas lights). Your front porch is the best fireworks viewing site ever. Wish we could have been there this year.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the town where I came from. Anybody that wants to be in the parade just has to show up. Even though they're not big, my kids used to love being there for the parade. There just seems to be more excitement in the small town than the big city. It must be the audience participation!

joannamauselina said...

Wonderful! Reminds me of my youth as well. I love your pictures.

knitbysue said...

Ummm, can you explain the tractor/casket combo? I've seen small town parades but I've not seen that in a parade before.

Kathleen Taylor said...

knitbysue- it's a mystery to me too. I've never seen anything like it either. It was the hit of the parade.