We attended this year’s Independence Day Parade in San Jose. The event was to start at 10:00 a.m. but because we found a great parking spot toward the end of the parade, we just decided to stick around toward the back .
Looked like a lot of people had found great spots because it was already quite crowded where we were and all the choice spots under the tree on The Alameda were taken. We decided to sit in the middle of the road on the divider where some other people were seated just because one never gets to sit in such a spot otherwise. Packed with our chairs, a stroller, a diaper bag, and other kid-related paraphernalia, we made ourselves comfortable a little before 10:00 a.m. and waited…and waited…and waited. We had no idea if and what time the parade started but we saw our first parade group at 10:40 a.m. Imagine waiting 45 minutes with an infant and a toddler doing nothing!!! Thankfully, Baby E was asleep on me in her K’Tan and TJ who was being an amazingly patient kid, just hung around. Daddy kept him entertained and took him for a little walk around where we were sitting.
One of those walks was to the car, 25 meters away, to get our umbrella and what a great idea that was! As the sun started shining over our previously shaded area, it started getting hotter and hotter. The umbrella was a real saver that day!
As for the parade itself, we left within an hour of being there with having seen less than 1/3rd of the display. The parade was dominated by vehicles or at least for the amount of time we saw it, it only seemed to be about Beetles and antique cars and not 1 or 2 or even 5-6, but in the teens. This was fun for the first few cars but as they kept coming, I got over the fascination pretty quickly.
Where were the fire trucks, the train engines, or anything else that would excite a two-year-old..not that he was complaining. He was enjoying just watching all this newness and waving his flag but he kept wanting to see a firetruck or train engine and I thought the latter usually made the parade.
There were other groups of people like the Sikh Scouts of San Jose, four women dressed as the Ghostbusters, some dog walkers, a group of women dressed like women from the yesteryears a couple of Mexican dancers (this was a lot of fun!), and Lucky grocery store’s monster grocery cart. There were others in our time there but these were the most memorable. As I said above though, the parade, or at least the first part of it was entirely dominated by cars and therefore, pollution …and we were sitting there breathing it all in. The fact that anybody can sign up to be in the parade makes it inclusive but also a little unpredictable on quality.
All said and done, I am sure it would have been more fun had the kids been a little older and more able to participate in the cheering of things that passed by… like the girls across from us were. These girls kept yelling for all the car drivers to honk their horns and they obliged. Finding a spot in the shade rather than having to use an umbrella to shade us would have made the event more comfortable too. Finally, an important lesson for us is to get there even early and find a spot toward the beginning of the parade so that even if we are on limited time, we are able to see more of the parade.
We did not attend the post-parade celebration so I don’t have anything to say about that.