Small-Town 4th of July Recap — Part I

I was giddy for a week, just waiting for the smorgasboard of photo opps that I knew would be waiting for me at my annual hometown 4th of July celebration. And while the rain threatened to deprive me of my fix, my camera and I, in the end, prevailed.

If this is your first visit to my hometown on Independence Day, you can catch up here and here.

Part I — Don’t Rain on My Parade

Well, it did.

But the dedicated parade-goers showed up with umbrellas, and in some cases, rain bonnets.

It had all the elements of a traditional small-town parade. There were cute clowns . . .

And freaky clowns holding a creepy monkey puppet and driving a Cub Cadet . . .

This boy was smart. He wore a satchel in order to keep both hands free for maximum candy grabbage.

Our sons and nephew, on the other hand, had to share the bag to a fold-up chair because their parents neglected to remember a plastic sack.

There were floats that were boats.

This one won the award for originality. Yeeeah, it’s a boat . . . with some balloons . . . and a sign . . . (I’m not sure what that says about the creativity of the judging committee.)

There were floats carrying children with guns.

I’m glad I didn’t have to be the one to tell this guy they didn’t win the originality award!

There were fancy cars . . .

and walking cans of Spam . . .

Mmmm . . . turkey Spam, my favorite!

And of course, it’s not officially a parade until the obligatory “girl-walking-while-carrying-a-goat-on-a-leash” entry.


How embarrassing! We showed up in the same outfit!

Her hat, however, was nothing compared to this hat.

Never seen a shower cap over a cowboy hat before? Yeah, it was a first for me too. But I’m thinking it just may catch on.

People were positioned throughout the parade route, giving away water like it was, well . . . water . . .

Yet despite the persistence of the volunteers, there were surprisingly few takers. Hmm . . . it may have something to do with the fact that it was raining. And the majority of us were thoroughly drenched. For some reason, water didn’t sound especially appealing.

This little guy won my award for cutest Hispanic cowboy.

And of course, our parade would not be complete without tractors, lots o’ tractors.

Red tractors . . .

Green tractors . . .

Orange tractors . . .

Even blue tractors! (Who knew?)

Abe Lincoln made an appearance

As did Lady Liberty . . .

But the papparazi were really waiting for . . .

the group that always has the fans screaming. That’s right . . .

The vintage lawn and garden tractor club.

As the parade came to an end, we all sloshed to grandma’s house while visions of next year’s parade danced in our heads.

There’s nothing like a small-town parade!

Stay tuned for Part II of my recap: The Carnival

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4th of July Fashion—Do’s (and Doo-doos)

The 4th of July will be here before we know it — Have you planned YOUR wardrobe yet?

You may be one of those people who gets all decked out for the 4th, and if so, I’m envious. I just can’t pull it off. Bedecked head-to-toe in red, white, and blue is way too conspicuous for me. Makes me nervous just thinking about it. My personality is much more under-the-radar.

However, just because I can’t go all out doesn’t mean I don’t want to be patriotic. So I’ve been searching the web to see what I could find that’s a bit more subtle. I also found some things that you won’t be seeing me in this coming weekend. First, let’s explore those . . .

Although I totally admire the intricate details of this denim jacket, it’s just not me. Way too flashy for this body. However, if it’s you, go for it, girl! You can order it here.

Had I this woman’s body, I would definitely strut around the local pool in this bikini. Maybe even the parade. It’s retro-cute — but not on this mom-of-three. If you could actually wear this without making a fool of yourself, up yours, I mean, order it here!

I’m pretty sure it would be impossible to blend in with the crowd in this hand-painted shirt. If you want to get noticed (and you will, you definitely will), get yours here!

Hmmm, even if I could fit into a backless, peekaboo belly halter top, I don’t know if I would. Fortunately for the world, it will never be an option. If it’s an option for you, pick up your own here.

Now, I think this puffy shirt is super cute. However, it made my “won’t wear it” list for other reasons: 1) It’s too dressy. The 4th of July celebration we attend isn’t exactly a dress-up affair. 2) I’m pretty sure that long tie would cause serious injury when it got caught in the gears of the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Again with the conspicuous. Instead of blatant patriotism, I prefer my patriotism to go a little more incognito. If you like yours loud and proud, order your jewelry here.

So just what will Miss Pickypants wear, you may be thinking? Don’t worry. I’m not that hard to please. Here’s what you could see me in (if I had the funds to do more than just window-shop) . . .

This piece of jewelry is a bit less “in-your-face” patriotic than others I’ve seen. I’d definitely wear George Washington around my neck. (Pick up George here.)

If  it’s possible to be in love with a powder wig pendant, count me as guilty. So stinkin’ cute in a 18th-century-retro kind of way. Get your own wig here.

What’s more patriotic than the Declaration of Independence? I mean, without it, the 4th of July would just be another day. So even though this T-shirt doesn’t sport the red, white, and blue, it doesn’t have to. Want to declare your indpendence? Get the shirt here.

I love the irony of this T-shirt. I would love to see how long it took people to “get it.” Plus, I think it’s pretty darn true. If you want to “get it,” get it here.

I think Thomas Jefferson looks a little sexy here. Claim Tommy for yourself here.

Okay, I realize this is a dress, but it’s a T-shirt dress, so that doesn’t really count as being “dressy.” Baby might have too much back for this dress, but if it didn’t cling in all the wrong places, I’d totally wear it. (Find it here.)

I’m a word nerd, so this T-shirt from Target speaks to me. It says, “Can’t you please take me home? I’m less than 10 bucks for crying out loud!”

A few other 4th of Julyish items of apparel worth mention . . .

If I had a girl, I would totally dress her in this for the parade. Doesn’t it look like fireworks? If you have a little girl to dress up all cute-like, well aren’t you special? go ahead, buy the dress and shatter my dreams buy it here. Go on, I insist.

If I had a boy, I’d dress him in this. Oh, wait . . . (Get your own here.)

My pet peeve: Shirts that have the year on them, like “July 4, 2010.” Why? Because they suck as hand-me-downs. I still have a 4th of July T-shirt that says, “Old Navy 2002,” but if I make one of the boys wear it to the parade, does it not scream, “THIS SHIRT HAS BEEN THROUGH AT LEAST 3 OTHER KIDS BEFORE ME”? That’s why I love this shark shirt. It’s cute, clever, and timeless. (Find it here.)

For another hand-me-down-worthy holiday shirt, order this one from an adorable shop called Crowsmack. Even the name makes me smile.

So what about you? Is your 4th of July fashion style more extrovert or introvert? What will you be wearing to the parade?

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