A lovely day thanks to the Grandma Ks

A little rain and a disappointing forecast may have shrunk the biggest Flag Day Parade in the country a little, but it sure didn’t dampen the fun.

That’s easy for us to say, though, because we landed right next to the cheerful Grandma Ks, who offered us big smiles and the loan of exactly the number of umbrellas we needed.

Hooray for the Grandma Ks!

Our little group settled into what turned out to be the perfect spot for us and we had a grand old time saluting flags, high-fiving super heroes and clapping along to the marching bands.

We Wisconsinites pull our resiliency on like the rain gear we keep stuffed in our trunks for just such occasions. It was almost as inspiring to watch the crowd assembled up and down Wisconsin Avenue as it was to see the various floats. As the rain came and went, the umbrellas popped up and down without even a break in the conversation.

Kids laughed and waved, parents smiled and relaxed and it felt like every other Flag Day parade I’ve attended and occasionally marched in, except for the lack of high school marching bands.

But, an enthusiastic group of Badger band members high stepped in line, along with city, community and military bands. Fire trucks, tractors, Corvettes, horses and old time vehicles kept the route interesting, along with dancers, singers and clowns.

From the members of Casa Hispania, to the Elite Striders, to the agricultural community promoting the Outagamie County Fair, to the high school football team, to the politicians representing them all, everyone marched among and under the American flag. I got a little lump in my throat when I saw all those flags waving and all of the proud people holding them.

We are not a perfect country, but we are free and it sure is nice to sit at an afternoon parade and express a little gratitude for it all.

Of course, I took a few pictures. I hope you enjoy.

Among their many grandchidlren, my friends Kathy (on the left) and Katie (on the right) share grandma duties with the precocious Codelia and her adorable little sister June. The Grandma Ks are really good friends and generally rays of sunshine in any weather. We took them up on their kind offer to loan us some extra umbrellas.
They came in handy from time to time.
My friend Ben and his kids scootered on over to the parade.
Always inspiring to see the colors stride by.
Brigadier General Robert P. Palmer gave us a wave.
The Appleton City band offered live advertisements for its free concerts in the park.
Members of the Appleton City Council.
No high school bands, but we did have this very precise military band. Look at those lines!
The Valley Troubadours played.
And they were also precise.
The Herd was there and their mascot high fived us all, so we loved that.
The League of Wome Voters (and my friends Jeanne and Diane)
New Horizons Band has really grown!
I always think the horse-drawn hearse is a sobering reminder.
These ladies marched in hoop skirts, which is really quite impressive in any weather, but particularly in wet weather as those hoops collect water and probably weigh a ton by the end of the route.
My friend Jeannie and her mom Joan have attended even more Flag Day parades than I have (and marched in a few as well).
One of this trio was a little camera shy, but I just loved how festive this family dressed for the parade!
Appleton East Patriots.
Batman was there!
And he even high fived us!
Woody zipped past too!
I like this shot of all those flags.
The Elite Striders had a lot more fun than this picture shows. They were a very lively dance group.
We all loved the gorgeous skirts the ladies from Casa Hispania wore.
And our friend Ernesto could not possibly do more for his community. There he was scooping up after the Casa Hispania horses and riders. He’s the president of the group! Really, what a guy!
Always great to see the Badger Band.

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