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May 31, 2013

FROM PARADES TO PROBLEMS IN 10 HOURS OR LESS

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. parade

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?

5 comments:

Maureen said...

Uggg...I feel for you. I would drive me crazy. How nice would it be if you could just sit on your front porch and enjoy the day.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Yeah, I know how you feel. We have the same problem at the lakehouse for Memorial Day and 4th of July. The only problem is that it's usually the adults (and not ones who have homes in the area - vacationers) who get drunk and out of hand. It's gotten progressively worse. Why do a few idiots have to ruin the fun for everyone?

Blondie's Journal said...

What a shame. I feel bad for you since your own home is involved in the hullaballu. It sounds like it turns into an absolute riot.

Things changed drastically here after 40 years of celebrating St. Patrick's day in my very Irish neighborhood. The streets were lined with people for the parade and the young families were eventually outnumbered over by people of all ages drinking (even as early as 9 in the morning). They put an end to it 3 years ago and everyone was heartbroken. Last year it came back with stiff fines for public drinking...the partyers waited to hit the bars and backyard BBQ's, and everyone cleaned up their act. Peace was restored on the Southside of Chicago!

XO,
Jane

Lynn said...

How sad, Lori, when a few can mar an otherwise happy occasion. As I read your post I realized today is Saturday so I’ll just leave my best wishes you find joy on this first day of June.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

How terrible that something that was so fun in the early days is now such a bad time.

Seems the world is changing and not for the good.

Jen

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