Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Fourth of July - Block Island Style

This was the first time we've spent our Fourth of July on Block Island.  We found out that in addition to fireworks, Block Island puts on a pretty impressive Fourth of July Parade.

The Children Elliot love a good parade.  Especially the ones near their grandparent's house in Maine where the people on each float throw handfuls of candy to the children watching from the sidelines.

All one has to do is mention the word Parade and my children start salivating like Pavlov's dog.

It was a very hot Fourth of July on Block Island and after a long, cold winter and spring, we were ready for a nice hot day.

We all took MANY pictures.

We even took pictures of people taking pictures.  Just for fun.

The crowd was enormous.  We waited in town, towards the end of the parade.  Our house was not in walking distance from town this year, so we arrived early to get a parking space.  

Getting to town early was a very good idea.  We were able to get curb seats to help aid our  candy-snatching ability.

The Volunteer Fire Department were the first paraders to go by.

They didn't throw any candy, but our hopes were still high.  The children figured that volunteer Fire Departments probably didn't have much of a candy budget.

Next came the piccolo players:

Southern Sister played the piccolo for years and I knew to cover my ears the second I saw them coming. Southern Sister liked to practice her piccolo in the two-story entry hall of our childhood home where the piercing noise would echo throughout the house.  It's not a huge childhood trauma, but it's mine.

The piccolo ladies didn't throw candy either, but we figured that their hands were otherwise occupied.

But the old-timey ladies weren't playing any musical instruments.... and some were even carrying satchels, perfect for storing tootsie rolls and lollipops.  Where was the candy?

My children were getting a little worried about the candy-getting potential of this parade.

This was probably the moment when Gordy and I told our three sweet-a-holics that not all parades chuck candy at the heads of watching children.  I understood the disappointment, though.  I thought that Maine parade and its plentiful free chocolate was pretty unbelievable myself.

But then the Block Island Ferry floated by and some employees threw tootsie rolls at our party.  Sadly, they only threw a small handful and see those two boy heads in the picture?  They were the happy recipients of the candy.

A few of the other floats threw candy as well.  Josie got her game on and captured a piece of float candy for herself and her brother and sister.  When there is candy being offered, Josie doesn't mess around.  She may not love running on the soccer field, but she sure scoots pretty fast when retrieving a piece of melting chocolate from the road.

The parade was pretty incredible.  We all loved these ladies in their pink cadillac.

And the paraders who depicted the history of Block Island.  

This Block Island Lobster boat won 1st place and it was easy to see why.

And we really enjoyed the famous Block Island Dancers.

We felt very fortunate to be on Block Island for the Fourth of July this year.  Our hometown does the whole fire work thing on Town Day in June, so we usually just watch the celebrations on our television and have friends over for a bbq.  Perhaps we should start a parade tradition of our own.  

We did a BBQ by ourselves, instead, at our rental house.  Gordy made fajitas (a very American dish, I know) and we made s'mores.  It was a very happy Fourth.

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