My thoughts while doing the Afton 4th of July Parade: “Beautiful day! The rain they predicted never materialized. It’s maybe eighty degrees – a little warm in the sun, but perfect in the shade. Blue sky with just a few little fluffy clouds and just enough breeze to keep the streamers on the float fluttering. Perfect spot in the staging area in the shade of some towering cottonwoods. My spot is in the last third of the parade, behind the string of classic Corvettes and in front of 'Tony Jurgens for House of Representatives' and Pinky’s Sewer Service. My support crew folks show up en masse, Kathy arrives in the truck with the buckets o’ candy and the Silke hens, we get them transferred to the float and we’re underway. There are a few folks lining the street right outside the marina, but when we turn the corner onto Main Street, we are engulfed by the throng—solid masses of people lining the street and actually spilling over the curb onto the street in several places. The crew is busily handing out candy to eager youngsters—it’s obvious that the $85 worth of candy is not going to get us through the route! This is the epitome of festive! The noise: music, shouting kids, sirens, hot rod engines! My boombox is belting out the chicken-themed hits, but nobody can hear it in the midst of the general cacophony! Everybody loves us! Kids smile and point at the little hens. When the parade halts on occasion, moms bring their toddlers close so they can see the chickens close-up. I get lots of 'Hi Randy!' and 'Way to go, Randy'—I don’t know any of the people shouting my name, but 'Randy’s Chicken Blog' is displayed prominently right on the float! We drive Main Street, turn at the coulee, drive Main Street again, and then it’s all over. But what a memorable day!"
The thoughts of Emily and Courtney the Silkie hens while doing the Afton 4th of July Parade: “Aaaaaaaaarrrrgh! Squaaaaaaaaaak! What is going on???!!! The crate we’re in shakes around. We seem to be moving! Who are all these people? Why do they keep pressing their faces up to the crate? It is so noisy and scary! When we get back to the coop nobody will believe our horror stories! We will never forget this day!"
But they did just fine. Once they got settled in, they handled it just like seasoned professional chickens! I’m ever so grateful to these little hens for helping out with the parade. I couldn’t have done it without them! And I’m also grateful for the support and assistance of my seasoned professional crew: Katie, Eric, Madeline, Josh, & Kathy! Thanks guys! You were very brave in facing the hordes of candy-crazed youngsters! You too were vital to the success of this endeavor!
Without further commentary, here are a few pictures from the day.