The Problem With Parades

Look, I know it’s Thanksgiving, and I should be reminding you of all the things for which you should be thankful, but I’m fixated on something else.

Will someone explain to me what is with parades? Apparently I’m just weird because people line the streets to see them, and are glued to their televisions to watch them.

We’ll see this phenomenon again today with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’m all for being thankful to God; I just don’t get the parade thing.

I can only remember going to one parade–the Persimmon Parade, in Bedford, Indiana, when I was ten years old. The only thing I remember is wondering what a persimmon was and why it merited a parade.  I decided to look into it–parades, not persimmons–and here is what I found.

Wikipedia defines a parade as “a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons.” In my effort to understand why people like parades I tried to break down the concept of a parade into its constituent elements.

“A procession of people.”  I’m ok with people; it’s the procession thing that gives me pause. I’m not keen on crowds. I don’t like them in the street with clubs when they are called a mob or in cars when they are called traffic. And lining up in a crowd of people to watch another crowd of people walk by pushes the wrong buttons for me.

“Marching bands.” I do like bands and music in general, but when they are marching past and away from me I can only hear part of the song.  Am I supposed to jog along side and listen to get the whole song? I think Woody Allen had the same problem with parades, as demonstrated in this scene from Take The Money And Run.

And then there’s the floats. Floats are supposed to be in water, right? Not in the street. They are strangely out of place, just like the band and the people.

And so, like the floats, I suppose I’m strangely out of place when it comes to parades. But regardless of your view of parades, I hope you will have a genuinely thankful Thanksgiving. GS

4 thoughts on “The Problem With Parades”

  1. If you’re watchin’ a parade, make sure you stand in one spot. Don’t follow it… it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction. You will fast-forward the parade.

    — Mitch Hedberg

  2. Maybe it speaks to the overwhleming need of many to participate in a ritual of some sort? I’m with you though, parades don’t hold my interest whatsoever!

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