As you might imagine, I have been experiencing a little culture shock since recently moving back to Florida from Europe. In the spirit of “when in Rome” I’ve tried to find interesting things in the local area to amuse myself with and to report to you.
On a recent, rather stir crazy day, I ventured out to Dade City, about 30 minutes’ drive from my home. I’d never been there before but had heard they had quaint antique shops to visit and a very walkable shopping district.
On the way, I passed some photographable sites for future reference, including St. Leo Abbey and a giant, plastic figure in plaid shirt that looked for the world like the Indiana-based Paul Bunyan from my childhood. Instead of an axe, however, this guy held a giant wrench and was an advertisement for the local Big Mechanic auto repair shop.
I also passed the Pasco County Fairgrounds, which was gearing up
for the annual festivities, complete with looming Ferris wheel. Here in
Florida, outdoor fairs are common in February and March. I’d never been
to the Pasco Fair, and I didn’t even know where it was before now.
As I drove into downtown Dade City, I discovered a blockade, and police cars were positioned across the streets with lights flashing. But none of the many pedestrians seemed alarmed, so I parked in a nearby lot. As I made my way to the antique-shop district, I found that a parade had just started. It felt as if the parade was just for me!
…church groups (lots of texting among all the teen participants)…
…a van dressed up like a longhorn having been lassoed…
…many marching bands from area schools (my favorite because I can feel the drums in my chest as they pass by)…
…Uncle Sam on a hoverboard…
…and no shortage of Confederate flags.
It lasted a couple of hours and I got many photos, including two of my favorites that have nothing to do with anything:
In all, I was reminded of what makes our country great: freedom of speech, diversity, county fairs, and especially the ability to have fun just parading down the street. We may not be perfect, but we are beautiful!
I visited the antique shops after the parade, once the crowd had disappeared, which didn’t take long. But I’ll wait til another time to post those pics. I’m planning to return to Dade City to get more photos and to visit the cafes before they close for the day. I hear they have awesome breakfast there.
For now, just assume every parade is for you!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: