This Saturday our town holds a yearly celebration. It has been going on for many years. Much longer than the 30 years we have lived here.
It begins with a parade which used to start right in front of our house. The roads close down and the floats set up. There are floats from the schools and businesses. There are horses and bands. The firemen toss out candies to the kids and they have water gun battles with the kids. All the usual fun parade things. This photo was from around 22 years ago.
The parade ends up in a large park and there are lots of fun things waiting there. Through the years the event has grown and now there are a few different areas of town that have activities.
There are bands playing throughout the day. There are kids and teens everywhere. Many locals have big barbecue parties at their homes. There is a yearly salmon barbecue at the park.
The streets are so busy filled with people and lots of cars.
And then…….. the inevitable happens. The teens are drinking. They plan their partying way ahead of time and they go at it full tilt. They get more and more out of control and the police do their best to corral these kids and remove the liquor.
The evening culminates with a fireworks display which always has problems with drunken people fighting. Hundreds of people all try to leave the area at the same time when the fireworks are over and the streets are jammed solid. Masses and masses of people on the sidewalks heading past our house since we are on one of the main streets. Yelling and screaming. More fighting. Sometimes in my driveway. Police directing traffic at the corner to try to clear the cars as quickly as possible. Sirens ring out throughout the night as the emergency workers and police do their best to respond to the many problems that have erupted.
I have to say that I have come to hate this day over the 30 years we have lived here. I dread it and all the bad stuff that comes with it. I know this is going against the grain. It should be all sunshine and roses and painted faces but it has lost its allure.
So hopefully this year my yard will not be a toilet for the crowds. My garden will not be damaged. There will not be fights in my driveway and nobody will get hurt.
Maybe it will rain.
Do any of you have the same issues in your small town? Are the local festivities marred by the actions of some?