The Pine Valley Parade started at nine in the morning in humid heat -- sitting in the shade was a necessity. My parents and brother came down from the cabin on Mount Laguna and staked a claim just outside the park in the shade, just where the parade started. As always, the Pine Valley Days Parade commenced with the color guard followed by the Mountain Empire High School cheerleaders bearing the Parade sign. Much clapping and cheering accompanied the start of the parade, and thus the beginning of a long day of celebrating our beautiful small town.
Our three boys enjoyed being on the troop transport for Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity. Advertising the Free Teen Guitar Class ministry, Father Acker and Jonathan played their guitars while Timothy, Benjamin, and others tossed candy to the children along the parade route.
I love a small town parade in which the Grand Marshall is none other than the 90+ year old head of the Friends of the Library, Gramma Stickel. Beloved by the children of our town, Gramma Stickel plans fundraisers and outreaches for the local library. She is such a sweetie!
The Miss Alpine Float was colorful and fun -- probably the most creative and beautiful float of the parade.
My favorite part of the parade each year (besides seeing the kids in the parade) is the bagpipers. I absolutely adore the music of bagpipes, and this group is quite large and really, really good. It's definitely a highlight for me each year.
And the parade would not be complete without the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. I have a childhood fondness for Der Wienerschnitzel: twice in my middle school years my brother, sister, and I were on the Wienerschnitzel float in the Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon -- the second largest parade west of the Mississippi (after the Rose Parade). So seeing the Wienermobile each year in our own town's little parade brings back some fun memories.
After the parade which lasted for the greater part of an hour, everyone converged on the county park where the craft booths, snowcone stand, grilled hot dogs, climbing walls, horse shoe tournaments, and kiddie rides were. It was hot, hot, hot for the first half of the day until some high clouds provided relief from the burning sun. At the Mountain Empire Creative Arts Council (MECAC) booth we had a bake sale with fresh limeade that brought in over $60 for children's art programs. Elizabeth sold a few pieces of jewelry and also helped with a free bracelet-making craft. Timothy was a great salesman, carting our baked goods to sellers who couldn't leave their booths. We didn't sell any T-shirts or stained glass, however, but we did get some people interested in what we do for the community -- which is the main reason we set up the booth each year.
The day was made extra-special when our dear friends Carmen and Jeff and their daughters drove up from North County to enjoy the festivities. Carmen and I attended grad school together at USD, and Keith and Jeff have always been great friends, too. (I think the guys talked more than we women did!) Elizabeth sat down with their girls to make jewelry while we adults chatted. It was just a perfect note to a very fun but busy and hot day.