Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Parades hold a special place in the history of community gatherings in the United States and the Harvest Home Parade and Fair are no different. I am 26, my sons are two and one. Remembering my first time sitting on the curb watching the high school bands, the screaming of the fire engines, and the classic Shriners’ cars was surreal; it was my first real experience of nostalgia as a father. It was as fun and electric now as I remember it back then.
My older boy loved the trucks: fire, police, anything that had a siren, and especially the cannon blasts, which all combined to produce a startlingly impressive spectacle. My one year old bobbed and jived to the sound of the brass in the West High and Oak Hills bands; the fight songs all backed by the thunder of the drum lines.
Myself, now, instead of grabbing for the candy thrown from street clowns, prefers a cold beer. I smell the funnel cake and smile, knowing that this has gone on for generations, and will continue to do so. A marked day on the West Side calendar, and a rite-of-passage for many, who either walk in the parade with pride, ride on one of the many floats, or simply watch with child-like enjoyment, even as the years continue to pass.
This year, 2019, was a great turn out, as it will be next year, and the year after that. I will be in the crowd cheering and waving with my boys, who, as they continue to grow, will always know the magic that is the Harvest Home Parade.