Revisiting the Fourth of July in Eastman Wisconsin
One of the traditions of the small community I grew up in is the annual Fourth of July parade. Eagerly anticipated each year, it has been rained out only twice in the many years since it began during World War Two as an effort to boost morale. The first parade featured ‘doughboys’ from World War One marching with their guns and all in step and outfitted with their uniforms.
The first group in the parade is the veterans, all in their assorted uniforms, some in Desert Camo, others in khaki. Some of the older veterans ride in the back of a truck or haywagon and wave proudly at the bystanders. One of my fondest memories is that of my Dad at age 83 marched for about a half block wearing his Hawaiian shirt and his cap–he was stationed at Pearl Harbor.
This year the weather was unbearably hot with temperatures nearly one hundred–in a place where ‘hot’ is 90. Icee-pops were handed out by many of the ‘floats.
Then there are the tractors–all lined up according to make; and all the local fire engines with sirens blaring. Children laugh and scurry to catch the plethora of candy treats thrown out –a far cry from the one or two bags of candy thrown during the entire parade in my youth. I tried to get a photo of the elevator spewing out candy–but I was not fast enough to catch it on camera.
We ate our requisite bratwurst, grilled on site complete with sauerkraut and finished the meal with a piece of home-made blueberry pie–all from scratch.
It was too hot to go to the fireworks–and so it was early to bed.
More photos of the parade and my trip to Wisconsin including bubble blowing are here: