It was my third summer here and I finally made it to the storied Takoma Park 4th of July parade. It was all it was billed as.
There were the expected carloads of politicians — all of them Democrats, of course. And also the appointed city peace delegate, whatever that means.
There was the group asking for support for a dog park and the local food co-op represented by a giant shopping cart covered with labels for vegetarian items. There was the Washington Revels and — I kid you not, you can look it up — the Maryland Faerie Festival, with dancing fairies and a dragon band. And there was a bicycle-powered float that had a message that had something to do with the “rat trap,” which I couldn’t quite figure out.
There was a group calling for the freeing of WikiLeaker Bradley Manning and for an investigation into the “truth” of a supposed 9/11 cover-up. Then there were representatives of the city’s 25-year-old gay and lesbians organization dancing in celebration of the “death” of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. One couple held a sign announcing that they have been together 35 years and just got married.
For music and other entertainment, we had a Caribbean steel drum band, a Japanese drumming group, Indonesian dancers and a couple of truck beds with guitarists (including this Takoma Park Rocks float). Not a John Phillips Sousa-playing marching band in sight, although members of a Seventh Day Adventist Church did lead the crowd in a round of “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag.”
Happy Fourth of July, from this “no nukes”, no-trade-with-Burma and no-harmful-lawn-pesticide city on the edge of the nation’s Capitol!