Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Independence Day, Village Style
July 4th in Corrales...it's a hot experience. Temps always hit the mid-90s and people must scramble for shade as they line the main road waiting for the parade to start. We have watched the parade mushroom from an animals-and-kids-on-bike affair to a full-fledged parade. Animals do still play an important role, though.
Corrales was founded in 1706 and retains an air of its agricultural heritage, despite the burgeoning housing imposing itself onto the previously farmed fields. The village is trying hard to retain its rural roots and maintain small-scale farming. We have apple orchards and chile fields along the main road, and a few vineyards in the village, too. So it's no surprise that the main event of the July 4th parade is the tractor section. Lots and lots of tractors.
Horses are ever-popular, too. Because most residents have an acre or more of land, horses and other barnyard animals are ubiquitous. In our own neighborhood there are horses, llamas, and chickens, all of which were represented in our hour-long parade.
Kids scrambled in the street to pick up the handfuls of candy being dispensed more freely than water, though water was dispensed by some floats and entrants through super-soaker squirt guns. The Boy Scouts, ever entrepreneurial, walked the street with rolling coolers of bottled water that they sold for $1.
There was the local VFW group, who received applause and standing ovations along the entire parade route. There was a float by a nearby tattoo parlor displaying their various forms of human artistry; an original "chair brigade", a group of women marching with folding lawn chairs performing synchronated moves and marches (yeah, you had to see it); a kazoo band; and lots of Harley riders. Not many politicians this year; I guess they don't turn out when it's not an election year.
And of course what would a parade be without the pooper scoopers?
The streets were packed with smiling faces and happy kids. It's a little slice of life, village style...the simple pleasures of Independence Day.
Too hot to cook, we joined with millions of other fellow Americans in lighting up the grill. Potato salad, grilled chicken, baked beans (in the Crock-pot, did I mention it was really hot?) and white sangria...a much more "all-American" meal than I normally prepare. If only I hadn't forgotten the watermelon.
Fireworks exploded the sky to the south of us with spectacular color. The view from our courtyard afforded us a full show. Independence Day, village style.
copyright 2005 Valerie Schneider