July 5, 2010

Pictures from our Parade

Say what you want, Racine loves a parade!

First Team Troopers Colorguard

Parade opened with a stream of firetrucks and police cars from all over the area

University of Wisconsin Marching Band provided music

The Marine Corps League's re-enactment of Iwo Jima flag-raising

Park High School's Pom Pon Squad

Portion of the Charles Arnold Award-winning float from the 501st Legion,
Wisconsin Garrison of Star Wars

Young marcher from the Gladiators Youth Football team

Grand Prize winning float from Women in Military Service

Best seat in the parade: Atop Express Medical Transportation ambulance

Last in the parade (but certainly not least): The Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps

Enthusiastic crowds lined Main Street for Racine's annual extravaganza of a July 4th parade...never mind that it took place on July 5th.

The parade had everything except the rain threatened by the weatherman.

And just what was in the parade itself? Well, many politicians ... it seems everyone who's running for office would like to be in our parade -- but the rules -- thank Heaven! -- limit participation to already-elected officials. However, this being an election year (which year isn't?), we had lots of incumbents marching.

Racine mayor John Dickert was in the parade, of course (somewhat breaking protocol by displaying "Vote for Dickert" signage), and half-a-dozen aldermen; Sen. Russ Feingold; Congressman Paul Ryan; State Sen. John Lehman; Rep. Cory Mason (along with his obviously pregnant wife) and Bob Turner (the latter marched in fatigues with veterans, nowhere near the other pols). All are up for election. But only  Lehman's opponent, Van Wanggaard, marched, slipping in under the rules since he holds office as a County Supervisor.  County Exec. Bill McReynolds, Register of Deeds Jim Ladwig and State AG VanHollen marched as well.

We had two gubernatorial candidates, who got in as already-elected officials: Tom Barrett, currently mayor of Milwaukee, and Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive (who marched with Rep. Robin Vos). Mark Neumann, the other Republican contender for governor, although a former congressman, is not presently an office-holder, and so could not participate.

Besides pols, we had marching bands and cheerleaders galore, motorcyclists, bicyclists and unicyclists. There were Chinese dragons, supporting the Dragon Boat Festival float. There were dancers from our various schools, and Zumba enthusiasts, stilt-walkers, beauty queens, a bagpiper, a Leprechan. There were dogs hoping to be adopted, and others advertising day-care. There were scouts, and a giant salmon bearing good news for sport fishermen.

And, of course, there were flags everywhere, and flag-themed shirts and hats. And kids (and a few adults) with flag bobbleheads, red-white-and-blue hair, and lots of (hopefully temporary) flag-themed tattoos.

The parade took more than three hours to pass Monument Square, ending around noon. Giving us all time to rest up before the fireworks tonight, at dusk, at North Beach.