For over 40 years, we have helped celebrate the Maple Leaf Festival here in this town during a week when hopefully all the maples are dressed in red and orange. It is a week-long celebration ending with a huge parade in the morning and a band field competition in the afternoon and evening. Some years we have participated more than others. We have watched; we have herded cub scouts on to floats; we have gotten band students to the starting point; we have attended the field competition. We have gone alone; we have dragged babies and grandbabies; we have had relatives. We have set in cars with sickness; we have sat in the cold air on street curbs; we have stayed home due to rain. Some years have been trials and some joys.
The complication often has been my birthday as it falls right in the midst of Maple Leaf every year. My family often forgets so long as Mom makes the chili, had the drinks iced or hot depending on the year. My friends are faithful and never forget. I often just don’t have to time to honor their sweet thoughts. This year a lot of makeup luncheons will occur the week after, and I will reread my lovely cards now that the hubbub is over.
This year both sons could make the parade which is a first in at least ten years. This included two grandsons. The weather was a wee bit too chilly in the beginning, but it warmed up enough to be perfect with coats and blankets. The crisp air with a slight breeze made it just right for a snap of flags and the horns reflected the brilliance of an October sun. We snuggled in our chairs and enjoyed the parade, but did not venture among the crowd.
Rebecca Haines for Carthage Press
One of my former students works for the Carthage Press and took pictures along the way of the massive crowds while riding a float, and agreed to share them here. I was amazed at the number of people that lined the two mile route. One son who has been all over the country and abroad said of all the parades he has seen the Maple Leaf Parade is the best one. It looks like a few thousand people agreed!
Once home, we found the weather was perfect for lunch on the deck. Chili was hot in crock pots, hot dogs ready, and all followed by pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and chocolate pie. It is a seasaonal warmup for Thanksgiving!