Our family walked downtown through the crisp autumn sunshine this morning to watch the Homecoming Parade that the University puts on every year. For the friends who live overseas and may not know what such an event entails, I have included perhaps more pictures than usual.
Our family, ready to walk downtown. We did our best to wear the school colors, black and gold. Go Vandals!
We ran into some friends from church, and stood next to them to watch the parade. Because we got there early, we had some time to chat before the parade began.
Little Mister, eagerly looking for the parade to begin.
Curly took a turn riding on Daddy's shoulder, so she could see down the street to see if anyone was coming yet.
The main street of out little town was lined with spectators, waiting for the parade to begin.
While she waited, Curly amused herself with perching atop a red fire hydrant.
Little Mister, riding high on Daddy's shoulders, was the first one to see the motorcycle police who led the parade.
Watching the marching band always gives me a bit of nostalgia, as I played in it for six years, during college, and after Hubby and I got married while he was in school.
Bean watched with wonder as all of the oddities passed by.
Mules pulled an old-fashioned plow, and I think the town's mayor was riding, but I could be mistaken.
The community beginning marching band gets a little help with the heavy drums.
Many of the entries included people tossing candy to the children who lined the street. My Goombas scrambled to pick up as much as they could (several pounds, when we got it all home and divvied up).
The firefighters waved and blew their loud sirens and horns!
Smokey the Bear made an appearance, riding atop the biggest fire engine. He's been an American icon for well over 50 years.
Our town is proud of the volunteer fire department, as well as the rural volunteer fire fighters.
Alternative fuels are one of the research interests of our university, and this car has been outfitted to run solely on Biodiesel.
The UI Combine.
Kids watch the Shriners car and laugh at the little horn (ah-ooga!).
One of the firefighters came through the crowd with a Dalmation dog, who had been trained to allow children to pet him.
Someone dressed as a die came strolling along, handing out candy. You never know what you'll see.
I am not entirely sure what these frightening characters were supposed to represent, especially as they were on an American Cancer Society float. I guess I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
Next came the Polo Club, dressed in Vandal colors.
This float advertised the Lentil Festival, which takes place every year in August.
Bean gives approval on the parade, which lasted about an hour, and on his sucker. I would have liked to go to the Homecoming football game this afternoon, but Bean needed a nap, and we didn't want to pay the ticket prices if we would have to leave early anyway. Maybe in a few years we'll go.