Parades have a long and colorful world history.
The Macy’s Day Parade started in 1924 and is the largest parade in America, but there are many other spectacles offered across the country that can truly grab our attention. I have seen small towns put on some pretty grand events in regard to their local parades. In years past I have wondered if there would be anyone to watch the parade because it looked like the whole town was IN the parade. It certainly is an ideal time for the community to come together.
This week, we have the opportunity to witness four parades in eight days in Cheyenne, Wyoming during the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days. It creates an atmosphere that is difficult to describe if you have never experienced it. Cheyenne has the parades, three free pancake breakfasts in which thousands are literally fed in minutes, the “daddy of em all” rodeo, concerts with famous stars, and so much more. With all of this activity crammed into ten days, what significance is there to the four parades?
There are a number of practical as well as philosophical items that stand out for me. Thus, I raise the following observations, thoughts, and questions:
1. What time of night did those people put out their lawn chairs for the parade?
2. Some of the chairs looked very nice. How is it that the chairs aren’t stolen or vandalized during all of those hours they sit quietly unoccupied and unsupervised?
3. Since horses are a predominant part of the parade, the route sometimes becomes “littered” with horse chips in the process. When the line-up for the parade is created, who gets assigned to a position following the horses? I hope they are wearing their boots.
4. If we are willing to go to great lengths to get a front row seat along the parade route by getting our chairs out very early in the morning, what other areas of our lives are we willing to make such sacrifices? Am I eager to put forth that same kind of effort to get a front row seat in church so I can be near the altar to witness the glory of the Lord up close and personal?
5. Do I have my own pew in church? How do I react if someone “steals” my pew and forces me to sit somewhere else?
6. As I watch the parade go by, am I secretly hoping to see someone step in the horse droppings?
7. In the parade route of my life, do I feel like I am in front of the horses, or am I behind them struggling constantly to not step in the droppings?
8. In the parade route of my life, is the band playing in key and on time with all of the other members, or am I out of step and flat?
9. In the daily course of my life, am I in my car trying to get somewhere quickly, only to come upon the parade route and realize that all of the main roadways are blocked off and impassable due to the parade? What does that do to my blood pressure?
Working in a building that is right along the parade route offers a rather unique vantage point. It makes it difficult to be a productive employee on these days as the bands go by boisterously playing their tunes, trucks blaring their air horns, and emergency vehicles sounding their sirens. On the other hand, it makes one appreciate some of the simpler things of life. Unlike the spectators sitting along the street, I have easy access to the restroom. Let the parade begin!