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Fire and Ice: Hoagland Days Parade

Saturday dawned cloudy with a hint of summer heat lurking in the air…and something else. Music. Parade season. With Spirit of Woodlan shirts, khaki shorts, white…well…kinda white shoes, and instruments in hand the musicians boarded the busses with let’s-get-this-over-with smiles.

Can you feel the excitement? No?

Happy to be together, they rode in quiet conversation…with a bit of silliness thrown in. Can’t stop the silly.

Hoagland welcomed us with a fresh patch of grass. A place to relax as we waited.

To chat…

To trade a flag for a trumpet…

To practice…

To assemble the banner…

To receive words of wisdom or possibly hear thrilling stories…

At last, warm up time…

They sounded great!

Just in time to line up and wait.

At least the clouds kept the sun away. Parents filled colorful beach buckets with ice and gave out pieces to keep everyone cool. Firetrucks and tractors and floats and people with bright wigs of purple, orange, yellow, and blue lined up to entertain and delight the crowd.

Finally, we joined the parade!

The drum line started us off and the music danced into the air. The clouds parted as if the sun couldn’t stand not being a part of the fun, as if to say…Spirit of Woodlan, you are on fire!

Flags fluttered.

The drums pounded the rhythm.

The Drum Major kept us on track.

People lined the street. They waved. They smiled. They cheered.

Children held bags full of candy in their fists, but the hope in their eyes faded when they looked into Woodlan’s bright green bucket to discover no candy. So many tiny faces peered into the buckets. So many hearts broken. So many turned to their friends or siblings and muttered, “It’s ice…” (I wish I had pictures of that.)

The heat increased. Parents handed out ice during musical breaks. A real hero, Lucy, Carlie’s sister, ignored the heat and rushed here and there, spraying the backs of necks and faces to offer relief. The Spirit of Woodlan marched.

When a police car needed us to move out of the way, when an ambulance had to get to someone in need…(Side note: I hope she’s okay!)…they marched.

Past suckers and Tootsie rolls no one wanted, sad pieces of candy sitting in the sun, a few having falling victim to walking feet. They marched until the end.

Where to their great delight, Tanya Spangler had popsicles! Just drop that banner and get a frozen treat! I had a red one, it was marvelous.

The ride home was quiet…and sweaty.

The first parade of the summer. For some, their first parade! For others, who knows how many that made.

This Saturday…two…two…two parades in one day! Our own Woodburn parade in the morning and North Webster in the evening. Details will appear in inboxes everywhere soon, I’m sure.

I will sadly miss these parades. Enjoy the music and the heat for me!

Spirit of Woodlan. You rock.

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