Do you like going to parades?

Growing up, we usually did one parade on Memorial Day and then one on 4th of July. There were also a few years in there where we did what was called the Dandelion parade, and that was only because I was in it, playing the flute. Other than that, parades either weren’t happening, or we weren’t going.

On another note, parades always seemed to be the same. You’d have your marching bands, your fire/rescue vehicles, odds and ends, and perhaps some “important” people. Most kids would get their fair share of candy, and when all was said and done, you’d possibly walk away discussing the best part of the whole thing.

Things are different today. At least in my neck of the woods. Now that I’m an adult, I get to choose what I want to do. Before kids, I wouldn’t go to the parades. I didn’t really see the point of them, I suppose. Or perhaps didn’t think they were cool. Who knows. With kids, though, I make an effort to take them because it gets them out of the house, it exposes them to some neat things, and let’s face it, I get excited when they get excited!

Another reason we will take our kids to different parades is because they’re not all the same anymore. Yes, you still have your fair share of the same type of participants (rescue/fire vehicles, “important” people, etc.). But there are new types of parades that I never knew were around when I was a kid (and maybe they never were). One is a fire truck parade where it’s basically all fire trucks. Another is the truck parade. This year, we had tons of semi trucks and other types of trucks making their way down our city’s center. Our boys loved that! There’s also Christmas parades, pumpkin parades, and so many other types of parades! My neck of the woods has sure gotten interesting!

Take for instance this year’s 4th of July. We typically stay more local, but we heard there were going to be some pretty “top dog” type of people at a different parade so we traveled there. It was a hot day, and the parade didn’t get down to our part of the route until an hour-and-a-half after it started. The locals said it is usually forty minutes, and that it was longer due to those “important” people. Other than a few minutes of these flying overhead, we had nothing to do but sit and sweat, waiting.

Normally I would complain or think this would be disastrous because what kids would want to sit around forever in the heat?!? However, I’m so glad to report my kids handled it well. AMAZINGLY well! Who would have thought my kids could do that?!?! LOL! They have their moments.

Anyway, alas, the parade got to us, and, yes, we got to see some “cool” people. The first is a picture of our Governor, Rick Snyder. The second is of our Vice President, Mike Pence.

It’s kind of cool that, in both pictures, it looks like they’re waving at me. At me!!!! And I know both these men aren’t the most popular, but I thought it was still neat to see them, seeing as it’s not a common thing for me or my family. Just the thought that my boys got to see these governmental figures at such a young age amazes me.

So, parades. I’ve come to sort of enjoy them. They’ve grown on me, so to speak. So much has evolved over the years surrounding the idea of parades that they’re just great experiences. The only downfall is that not as much candy gets passed out anymore. Good for the kids because they don’t need the candy, but boo for me because I don’t get it either, lol!


Fireworks. Some people love them. Others hate them (and for valid reasons). A few have a love/hate relationship with them. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of fireworks, there really isn’t a whole lot we can do about them. They’ll be let off no matter what.

So let’s talk about fireworks! LOL! I happen to be one of the people that love to go and watch fireworks. Not just any fireworks, though. I like the ones that are set off by the professionals. You know, the type of fireworks displayed during 4th of July or other festivals. The ones that go higher in the air, get bigger, and sound louder than anything we could buy at the store (if your state allows for that).

As for the ones you get from the store, they’re okay. But they provide a little bit of anxiety for me. I like to see them, but get a little nervous when just your ordinary joe fires them. Why? Because many accidents happen, and my mind immediately fears the worst. (Something I know I need to work on).

The thing is, though, since Michigan made fireworks legal a couple/few years ago, some people do some pretty scary stuff. Not scary when you’re expecting it. But scary when it comes out of nowhere! Just this past 4th of July, my family and I were walking down the sidewalk to the park to find a place to sit and wait for the fireworks to start. As we were walking, minding our own business, BOOM! From nowhere, this bright flash of light and bomb-blasting sound about made us fall backward. I kid you not. In the city, where houses are really close, this took place. Scared us silly!

In Michigan this can happen. We are allowed to buy and light fireworks the day before, day of, and day after the holidays. We can do them until 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Many people don’t abide by this rule, but it is what it is. I think the 1:00 a.m. rule is a bit late. I mean, the kids need to sleep (as do I). Thankfully since we’ve moved, the new location doesn’t keep them going all night long, but we’ve been in places where they have. And it’s just ridiculous.

Though I’ve complained a lot now (sorry), I really do like fireworks. I especially like the ones that Grand Haven throws during 4th of July and the Coast Guard festival, which took place just one month ago. They really put on a good show!

My favorite fireworks are the ones that are big and colorful and/or sparkly. I do not like the loud ones. I see no purpose in the loud flashes of light that only serve to deafen you. I want color and beauty. Some of the best that we have seen are the smiley faces, tulips, and rings around a gorgeous center. I also love the big golden ones that fall over like a weeping willow because they remind me of show business. And a cool thing is that sometimes there is a slight pause between the show and the grand finale. It reminds me of concerts where the musicians pretend to be done, but then come back for one more hit song. They really know how to leave us wanting more!

Anyway, bottom line is that I think in the right hands at the right time and the right place, fireworks are beautiful. You never know what you’re going to see next, which I find thrilling. Any chance I get to see a show, I do.

How do you feel about them? Do you like the loud ones? Bright ones? Colorful ones? Do they even light fireworks where you live? Can you buy them all year around like you can in Michigan? What was your favorite show? Or firework? Maybe in the comments you can show a picture of your favorite!


*Firework picture curtesy of