A niece in Pasco named Devrie has been rallying cousins to join together in Sunnyside on Saturday evening to enjoy the 29th edition of the original Lighted Farm Implement Parade.
As I watched her and cousins communicate on Facebook, I started to think about it myself. Devrie remembers coming to the parade when she was little and really enjoying it.
Even though I live nearby in Granger, I’ve never gone to the parade. I am not exactly a parade fan. I do try to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade on TV every year.
I used to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when I was young. Now, I don’t.
For me, parades have floats, comic entries, and bands. Macy’s is not much more than a traveling Broadway show.
Pat taped this year’s while I watched football and she worked. She started to play it the next evening. After 15 minutes, I was done.
All I saw were the chatty hosts and singers and dancers and stars of the network’s own television programming.
But small town parades are still parades. I’ve enjoyed the Fourth of July Parade in Toppenish over the years.
I’ve enjoyed the Granger Cherry Festival Parade, the Zillah Community Days Parade, the Wapato Harvest Festival Parade and Royal City Summerfest Parade. I’ve also enjoyed parades in Sunnyside, but not this one.
It seemed to rain or get real cold for the one in Toppenish. It did not encourage me to go to other December parades.
There’s been lots of chatter in the office about this parade. That and Devrie’s efforts have brought my attention to it.
Pat and I had gone to bed but were still watching TV a couple of days back when I suggested we go to the parade.
She was ready to go. She grabbed her phone, which she charges next to the bed, and started checking out Devrie’s communications.
She was trying to find the start time. She gets home from work at about 4:30 on Saturdays. I’m off on Saturdays.
Devrie hadn’t posted the time, that we could see. So Pat went to the internet and started to read all of these wonderful commentaries of the parade, Arts and Entertainment TV and the rest.
Until Pat told me, I didn’t know this was the oldest parade of its type in the whole USofA. That may not be impressive to you, but some day, when I say I work in Sunnyside, someone will say:
“Hey, isn’t that the place with the lighted farm parade?”
I will proudly respond: “Yes it is.”
When I say I live in Granger, people often ask: “Isn’t that where they have the dinosaur park?
Every time I hear that, I’m impressed. Somebody knows something positive about Granger.
Pat went on, reading to me about The Lighted Farm Implement Christmas Parade.
“More than 50 lighted tractors, trucks and implements,” she said. More than 50? That pretty much sold me.
An old farm boy, I love to watch giant tractors without lights plow a field. A chopper loading a truck with silage or green chop, even mint will draw my attention.
Wednesday, co-worker Julia Hart said more than 65 lighted entries after speaking with organizer Debbie Estrada. That did it. I was sold.
First thing I’m going to do is go to the fire station and eat some of that 5-alarm chili.
“Five-alarm, I can’t do that,” Pat said.
I’m sure it’s not 5-alarm. I was kidding. I can’t do that either. I hope it’s 1-alarm or less.
I probably won’t eat pancakes this year. From when I can first remember, my family never mixed sweets with non-sweets.
To me, Jello was a dessert. The first time I saw a cube of Jello with bits of carrots and lettuce inside at a high school sports banquet, I wondered why ruin the Jello.
But you never know. I might go for pancakes. Pat loves them, and she’ll probably drag me there.
Whatever happens, I’m excited about Saturday night, my first Lighted Farm Implement Parade.
I’m going to dress up, just in case A&E returns.
— Ted Escobar is the managing editor of The Daily Sun. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.