I have always loved parades and one of my favorite things to do is to relax with my tea on the mornings of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s watching them. From the Macy’s to Disney’s to Rose Bowl, I love them all. I miss the Mummer’s Day Parade back in Philly though! I prefer to watch my parades on TV these days though there was a time when I marched along with the rest of the clowns in the Parada Del Sol in downtown Scottsdale, once even pulling my children in a wagon in my five-inch silver heeled shoes strutting high! No wonder I have leg problems.
(I'm the one looking the other way in the long denim jumper)
Last fall my husband and I explored a bit of the Virginia mountain country and stopped at Shenandoah Caverns. Situated next to the caverns is American Celebration on Parade! a unique collection of floats, props and stage settings from various parades and presidential inaugurals. This is a parade lover’s paradise. This gal, from a Mardi Gras parade, welcomed us inside.
Neptune holds court on this float that was in the Rose Bowl parade and has been conformed in various stages for other parades. Earl Hargrove, the owner of Shenandoah Caverns, has long produced floats for parades and inaugural events dating back to Harry Truman's in 1949. It was his idea to open the exhibition for those of us who fancy the floating frenzy of fantasy.
As if all of this regalia wasn’t enough, above the caverns is Main Street, a nostalgic view of department store window displays from yesteryear. Family traditions were made as parents and children strolled lazily down the street peering into downtown shops, enthralled by the animated characters. Cinderella arrives at the ball in her pumpkin of a carriage, waving at the child in all of us, as the magical night begins.
May I have this dance? Stiff, wigged dolls on revolving circles may seem archaic in today's computer generated world. But just imagine the joy in a child's eyes as she watches the fairy tale come to life on a snowy, city night long, long ago.
Pigs fly and Teddy Bears dance as the carousel goes round and round on this enchanting journey, all taking place in a department store window of yore.
We never did go into the caverns, instead basking in the pomp and circumstance of being the grand duke and duchess of our own parade.