My adopted home town of Acton, CA, celebrated it’s 50th Annual 4th of July Parade and I went. Like so many things in our little corner of the world, I end up feeling like I got away with something. I didn’t drive down to the parade route until about 15 minutes before the event started, but I found a good easy place to park. No one charges for parking here, which is a big deal if you spend any time “down below” in Los Angeles.
The first people/pooch photo I took. I love this.
I walked up and down nearly the whole parade route, since I parked near the end and it took more than a half an hour for the lead car to reach us. I asked people if I could take their pictures with their dogs, and everyone said yes. It’s really fun to do. Sometimes I get a great shot of both pooch and person, but often the better portrait is of the person. Thinking about their dogs makes them unselfconscious and brings out the love they have for their pals.
I thought I’d lean against the fence in front of the church downtown and started talking with a fellow who had lived in Acton for more than 40 years. His name was John and he was great. He told me to get out there in the street with my camera… I was a little worried that I’d block people’s view, but he said he didn’t mind. I ended up sitting on the ground in front of him, and it was a great spot. Best of all, it was in the shade of a huge old tree.
This Dancin’ in Acton girl was great. Still crisp and strong after all those miles of dancing.
The parade was good, if a bit long. The MC who walked at the front with a microphone said it was 15 miles long! There were a lot of cars. Kind of too many cars. And there could have been more music. Dancin’ in Acton put on a good show. I also like that Still Waters Recovery Home had a group of men chanting and singing as they walked around…be proud to be in recovery.
This puppy is four months old. Wish I could remember its name. Where’s my notebook? At home.
These girls are packing some serious water power.
These girls are not.
My very favorite part, since I haven’t been to the parade for a while, is that this tradition has evolved where most of the small town queens and princesses engage in water fights with the crowd! Yay! They get to be kids! The ones who packed water guns wore tank tops or tee shirts with their tiaras, were totally soaked by the time they got to the end of the route and looked like they were having a blast.
Our amazing local horse trainer riding with one horse on each foot!
Last people/pooch shot. This dog was probably dumped–we get a lot of that out here–and doesn’t have a name yet. “Maybe Scruffy?”
Shoot out at the Acton corral!
Note the guy riding his buddy’s shoulders between the trucks.
The last vehicle in the parade was a fire engine that sprayed water over the crowd. Usually it’s excruciatingly hot even though the parade runs from 9-11 a.m. The water felt good even though it wasn’t crazy hot. By the time they came around, I’d learned to shelter my camera under the wide brim of my hat.
I followed the fire engine around the corner and up Smith Avenue, where they started having a water fight with the Acton Rangers float. The Rangers pulled up next to the fire truck and they blasted away at each other for at least ten minutes. People ran between the vehicles to get soaked. At one point a ranger tried to climb onto the truck and turn off their water.
When they finally stopped, the firemen sent a geyser of water into the air and we all got cooled off again.
Hydra climbed Sundry’s Mountain at home in order to videotape The Condor Squadron as they did the traditional opening flyover. We caught a glimpse of them last night practicing their route. As it turned out, they were fogged in at their home airport down in Van Nuys! (Amazing weather distance in about 20 miles as the crow flies…and 3000 feet in altitude.) Which I didn’t find out until the parade was over. Poor Hydra spent 2 1/2 hours up on the mountain, waiting. I’d just arrived home around noon when I heard the unmistakable roar of those big old engines. The Condor Squadron did three runs over Acton, and they turned around right over our neighborhood. This is them flying right over our street. That’s our pine tree!
Needless to say, there are LOTS more pix. I love people. What a fun day.