It’s back to work after a great Fourth of July celebration. Independence Day is celebrated with enthusiasm throughout the U.S.A, and with particular passion in New England. Every town in New England throws itself into the celebration with fairs, fireworks, and especially, homegrown parades.
Warren, Vt. has one of the most usual parades I’ve ever experienced. I’ve gone to the parade for the past three years, and it never fails to amuse and inspire me. It’s a truly eclectic mix of grand floats, live theater and music, solitary marching individuals, business boosterism, campaigning politicians, solemn patriotic remembrance, and rowdy patriotic protest. Within minutes you will see: fighter jets from Vermont’s Air National Guard screaming overhead, rolling in the sun and firing their afterburners for awesome effect, a giant “Ship of Fools,” featuring George, Condi, Cheney, etc, sparkling red firetrucks clanking and rolling by, Republican, Democratic, and Independent politicians on the move, vendors hawking frozen pie, ice cream, or smokey BBQ, and hundreds of small children, old people, hip college students, and (my favorite), bewildered tourists from out-of-state.
It’s one of the largest celebrations in Vermont.
Our own Don Mayer can usually be seen in the parade, riding his red Victory motorcycle with side car, where his bulldog Hammerhead rides wearing a pair of Doggles – goggles for dogs. This is always a hit in the parade. Don stops every now and then, so the crowd can pat Hammerhead. He has a big American flag on his bike, and it’s quite a site to see.