Monday, July 7, 2014

Guide to Lopez Island's July 4th Parade and Other Celebrations

What am I not that excited about? The Fourth of July.
What am I pretty keen on? Parades.
What do I find especially exciting? Small town parades - the ones where anything and everything is worth making a float for and where the folks you're sitting next to seem to know every other person marching by.

I've had some small town parades in my pocket (Roslyn population - 2,700, Haines - population 2,500, etc) so I was ready for this town of 2,200 to charm my socks off (ok, they were already off - I was barefoot). Lopez Island, like in all other regions of life, didn't disappoint. It was so cute I could've vomited 'cept that didn't really fit into my agenda for the day.

I woke up that morning at Hannah's and we both got ready for the day and rode into town with her father unit. The market was starting to be set up for the day - it would be a three days of marketness. First item on the agenda was to go to the book sale. Over the course of a year, or so, the library collects books to sell and then fill the entire community center with them. $20 for a bag or $1-2 per book. Fantastic, amusing selection.

Ran over to the library to set up my quilt.
Ran back to the market.
To the other place and place with the placey place.

11 AM - Parade shall begin... with a few minutes tardiness as with island time.

And here we have it, the Lopez Island Fourth of July Parade that Has Little to Do With the Fourth of July!

What, on this island, is a basis for a float?

Here we go:

Of course we had to start with a bounty of rad farm equipment. With so many ancient tractors, you would think this island was speckled with fields, or something.

And nothing beats a float put on by the dump, right?

Well, nothing except for Larry's 70th birthday. It came with an entire entourage.

I appreciated the Meals on Wheels with the rubber chicken...

But the float that we all cheered the loudest for was the float for silence in the skies. There's an air force station near Lopez Island and the military has these new super-loud planes call "growler" that a lot of us are pretty fed up with. I sometimes have to wear earplugs to bed because of the noise from the air traffic.

We also had the prison...

and the thrift shop. They threw items of clothing out. Kiré got a shirt that fit her just right.

The community land trust made an appearance...

As did the park service...

And to sum it all up, the jet pulling a bot of Lopezians.

So good! So good!

After the parade, we went back to the book sale and then headed out to get tacos (thank you John!). We got four sets of three tacos from the Farmer's Market. These tacos will forever be legends in my book. Whenever eaten, good feelings abound. I met John back during my first weeks on Lopez. He's got some-bajillion grandkids and seven kids and is just a dandy man to know. Really grateful to know him.

See the man in that picture making us all laugh? That's John.

Later, Jesse, Kiré, and I drove back to their property and the celebrations continued until late in the night when we all crashed and fell asleep in their Vanagon.

Life is good.
So good.

It's headstands and delicious wine and sweet company and tacos and music and enough love that you can roll around in it and kick your legs about.


  1. I have a crush on America. I want to be there for the 4th of July someday. I really liked the floats; it's the best parade I ever saw.

  2. So fun. I grew up in a small town so I also love the nostalgia of a small town parade. We took the kids to the parade in the town I grew up in last year. Pearl loved it. It's mostly semi-trucks with flags on them and a whole lot of horses, but it's colorful and you get candy so Pearl was basically in heaven.


Your words make me grin.

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