I love a parade! The first Saturday in May is always Wenatchee's biggest event, the Apple Blossom Festival Grand Parade (the event lasts all week and culminates with the parade.) It's just the best time to be in the valley and the thing that 14 years ago led me to return to my job in Seattle on a Monday and give my two-weeks notice. No job lined up, just divorced and two little girls of 5 and 3 and yet I know this was the place I wanted them to grow up. It all worked out, as things usually do ("things always work out in the end, if they don't, it isn't the end.") I found the best job I've ever had, got remarried, we had another beautiful daughter and raised the three of them in this valley (and are still raising!)

Anyway, the Grand Parade is always an awesome way to reconnect with friends and the community. We call the royalty by name, shouting it as they drive by in the fancy cars or ride by on trick ponies. We cheer loudest for any friends we recognize on floats and also for the "clean-up crews", who follow the horses, and, well, clean up after them when necessary, by giving them the most attention for what has to be an unpleasant job at best. The color and pagentry and general goodwill renews my sense of small town pride and community and always lasts just long enough until the next year's festivities.