sponsored by the Round Rock Sertoma Club, on the Fourth. An amazing number of volunteers and city workers start a very early day prepping for the onslaught of floats, vehicles, Cub Scouts and chaos, which coalesces into a long and very interesting parade.
We’ve outgrown the staging of yore in the Mays Crossing Shopping Center to now just lining up in two rows from the shopping center southward as far as you can see. The number on the vehicles have nothing to do with order and all to do with registration.
Yep, there’s the blasting bass from oversized, overdriven speakers on someone’s float who thinks that’s fun and appropriate. Fortunately, they were far from me, but the bass still came through.
This year we had cloud cover for the entirety of the parade, but that humidity was stifling. Walkers and float riders were encouraged to park at the United Methodist Church, the terminus of the parade. Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department’s camp school buses ran continuously, hauling the masses and their gear down Mays Street to the shopping center.
I snagged a seat on one of the buses next to a young woman dressed in a cheerleader type outfit. Then in came a tuba player, someone with two large bouquets of helium balloons, which a group of cheerleaders offered to hold at the front of the bus, and then another person with multitudes of bundled 14” U.S. flags for distribution.
It wasn’t long before our bus was out of space, and we took off. I then hiked what seemed like another half-mile to my float that still needed decorating. Plenty of time to work. The parade never starts at 8:30 a.m. but more like 9:10 a.m., at least by the time there’s movement where our vehicle is parked. With lots of oversized, floating figures way out in front of us and no end in sight behind us, we were off.
There were larger crowds than usual as the morning was more on the mild side than in past years. Those with strong organizational skills and experienced at parade watching had their 10’ x10’ canopies set up behind the barricades with their own decorations on display while small hands could be seen sticking through the fencing seeking all that candy being handed out. The only thing missing was a frozen margarita machine along the route, but then the parade would have come to a halt. (There’s a thought for you entrepreneurial types — you can make it alcohol-free — think solar power). T-shirts sent messages like “Come and Take It” (I like to think they’re celebrating history), “Pro-Gun and Not Crazy” (thank goodness!) and, of course, the “Too Cool for British Rule” shirt.
No protests, only happy faces, cheering crowds — seems like 50 years ago — one people celebrating the best country-on-the-planet’s advent. OK, there’s still the Republican males who turn their faces away when the Democrat float goes by. I’m hoping one day they’ll be more accommodating.
Upon the end of the parade, there’s the incoming and outgoing traffic bedlam herded by dauntless volunteers as we all madly dash into undecorating the floats to make them highway worthy — not a dry shirt among any group — gathering up the decorations and trying to remember where we parked, and then the “oops, this doesn’t fit into my car.”
Another successful parade in Round Rock and after, we were faced with all the choices of celebrations in the county for the rest of the day and evening, and the fireworks, including the incessant ones past 10 p.m. in our neighborhoods! OK, puppy, just a few more minutes — they will stop soon, or at least I hope they will.