Thursday, March 17, 2011

2010 Sharpsburg Memorial Day Commemoration and Parade

This is the start of the 2010 Sharpsburg Memorial Day Parade! And, coincidentally, the start of my blog about the parade, too. Yes, I am still a little behind in my blogging here. But better late than never! On with the parade!

This is the Grand Marshal of the parade. Or rather, his car. Which is kind of pointed in the wrong direction.

The parade is billed as one of the oldest Memorial Day celebrations in the country. This was the 143rd year of the parade. There were marching bands in kilts.

And there were bands in pants and silly hats.

Do I like oompah music!? You bet!

There were beauty queens in cars, like Miss Poppy here.

And Miss Washington County Outstanding Teen.

And Miss Washington County. Wait . . . can I still call them beauty queens?

This is the Western Maryland District President of the American Legion Auxiliary. I wonder if she got car-riding tips from the beauty queens?

And Miss Poppy--hey! Wait a minute! There are two Miss Poppys!?

There were old cars.

Here is a red one.

Here is another green one. Stunning commentary, eh?

Here is a gold one. The parade wasn't really in this order, I am kind of grouping like stuff together here.

And here's an old van.

Here are some really old cars.

They run on biomass . . . you're just going to have to trust me on that one. You don't want to see a picture.

There were steel horses.

Yet another form of transportation. Kind of.

My then soon to be competition! I haven't written that blog entry yet. But as the sign says, that's Roscoe Bartlett. And with him is Don Munson. Not to give anything away to my later blog post, but one of them won in the primary, and the other lost.

This is Roscoe Bartlett's Prius. Hint: The person who won in the primary owns a Prius. Or his wife does. Or at least he rides in it.

This is Alex Mooney. He lost in the general election in a bit of an upset.

This is Neil Parrott. Neil won in the general election and is now a Delegate from my home district.

The Red Cross was there. The Red Cross sends me lots of notices about donating blood.

There were emergency vehicles. This is Sharpsburg's fire truck. Or one of them, anyway.

Eh . . . this vehicle could come in handy in some emergencies, I guess.

So could this one.

If you had more of an emergency, you might want this one with the cannon instead.

Need a flag? U.S. Flag Service has you covered.

What is a parade without lots of flags, after all!

There were lots of people dressed up in period garb.

And behind the ladies in period garb, men in period garb, with period flags (except for the current United States flag.)

And then some more ladies in period dress.

And horses in period dress? Maybe?

I wonder if hoop skirts will ever come back in style . . . .

I think the Union is outnumbered. But they get to march in style with the fife and drum. "When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah! Hurrah!"

These are some more modern solders, going back from now through most of the twentieth century.

Followed up by some more of the Blue and the Gray and further back to the Revolutionary War.

And then there's this guy. Don't ask me. Everybody loves a parade. Just ask the dude with the bright orange buzz cut sitting on the curb on the right side of the picture. Only that's not a dude. Don't ask me, again.

Back to more normal parade fare! A float. Girls with water guns, hay bales, and . . . umm, somebody in a bear suit. Well, I don't know exactly what the theme is, but it's got patriotic colors, so it's OK by me.

The Shriners were in the parade, of course.

Bring on the silly cars.

He's either waving or attempting to block out the paparazzi (that would be me).

Big guys in little cars. How can it miss?

I always enjoy seeing the chaotic driving.

This one they just drove slowly, straight down the middle of the road. It was probably for the best.

There were plenty of twirlers, too. They got progressively smaller.

Speaking of orchestrated chaos, this is my favorite group. Notice that none of them are doing exactly the same thing. It's great! But . . . is that lady pregnant?

Ayup. Pregnant. And marching in flip-flops.

That's the end of the parade. After the parade, I attended the Memorial Day Commemoration at the Antietam National Cemetery.

There were two honor guards. This was one.

And this was the other.

There was a flag ceremony and a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the fallen soldiers here.

There was also a 21-gun salute.

Ready . . .

. . . Aim . . . Fire!

Some cannon parts, near the cemetery wall.

This cannon is in much better shape.

I thought it would be nice to end this blog entry with the words from this plaque within the cemetery.