Thursday, July 03, 2003

One Interesting Parade

Saw this Associated Press Story and got a pretty good laugh out of it. There isn't one section that is funnier so here's the whole thing:

Associated Press Writer
MOSCOW, Vt. (AP) … There won't be 76 trombones leading the
Moscow Fourth of July parade. But there will be about a dozen

Members of the Moscow All Men's Marching Radio Band will
carry them on their shoulders, backed by radios on front lawns
and windowsills tuned to a local radio station that plays Sousa
marches and other appropriate selections.

The Radio Band will be followed by floats, fire trucks,
antiques cars, horses and an occasional llama that make their
way down the tenth-of-a-mile stretch of the main street past
the Moscow General Store and back.

""It's the shortest parade in the world. If you miss it by
10 minutes, you've missed it,'' said Tom Hamilton, one of the
founders of the parade, a tradition that began modestly in 1976
in this community of about 200.

The star attraction is the Moscow All Ladies Lawn Chair
Drill Team, a group of women 50 and up who do a routine with
old metal lawn chairs.

""We swing them around our bodies and swing them in front of
our faces, and open and close them to make a "clap-clap, clap.'
We sit down in them and point our toes and everyone thinks
that's great,'' said Jane Christopherson.

And all they do is practice for 20 minutes in her back yard
before the parade.

In the same spirit spontaneity, the unwritten rules say
floats cannot be built until the morning of the parade, and
they must be thrifty. Over the years, they have included ships
and superheroes.

""One year I took the old Christmas tree in the yard, stuck
it in a garden cart and decorated it with Christmas lights,''
said Ed Rhodes. He linked a dozen extension cords, plugged them
into a friend's home and unrolled them as he went.

Another rule is the newest household to move into the
neighborhood must clean up after the animals. If no droppings
are left behind, the resident must bring manure to scoop up.

The parade now often draws a crowd of 2,500 or more.

""We don't tell police,'' Rhodes said. And if cars try to
drive through, ""we let people go through, but we scowl.''

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