July 4, 2017, Independence Day, a time to celebrate the unique good fortune that our Founding Fathers deeded this Nation. And, for those of us who live in a true “community” -- where a shared sense of place is palpable -- it’s also a time to get together and enjoy an old-fashioned, happy summer experience.
It’s a perfect summer morning: slanting sun, blue sky, puffy clouds, light breeze, and temperature in the low 70s.
At about 9:30, neighbors and visitors start to congregate “Downtown,” while the remarkably good Brooklin Town Band welcomes them from the shade of the large maple trees in front of the Library.
A wide range of rousing, summery, and sometimes mind-catching, music wafts up through the leaves. (A haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ironic Hallelujah was especially moving in these unusual times.)
It’s a great-to-be-alive-and-here-this-morning place; it’s smiles and small talk and good-looking children and good-looking dogs and splashes of sun and shade spilling over everything; it’s July 4th!
The parade had previously formed farther down Reach Road, about half a mile away. It arrives in Downtown shortly after 10 and turns up Naskeag Road at our only traffic signal, the Stop Sign. Old Glory leads the way, held and guarded by three veterans.
Then, of course, there are many fire engines and other emergency vehicles – modern and historic – our tax dollars properly at work. Here are a two of the many:
There were a good number of imaginative floats. The ones that seemed to get the most attention were a pirates’ ship full of vicious pirates; a tick prevention float that contained dancing ticks and clever double and triple entendre messages (“Ticked Off!”, “Make America Tick Again,” “Patriotick”) , and, last but certainly not least, the running of the bulls with a huge bull chasing a cute crowd.
Antique car and vintage truck enthusiasts abound in Maine, perhaps because winter is a good time to work in the garage. There always are plenty of these pieces of working art in the parade, including these:
The parade wound its way to the Town Green, where children’s games with prizes, antique vehicles, and lunch were set up; and, the Brooklin Town Band arrived to play while everybody enjoyed themselves.
Two of the most popular games were the Wet Sponge Throw (at a human target) and the Dead Chicken Throw (at a hole).
One of our favorite antique vehicles was this 1933 Ford convertible.
And then there was the delicious food. The main selections were hot dogs (with or without sides) or barbequed chicken with corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw, watermelon, and a beverage. We couldn’t resist the chicken.
The Town Green was a sea of smiles.
For larger versions of the above images, as well as many additional images of Brooklin’s Independence Day celebrations, click on the link below. (We recommend that your initial viewing be in full-screen mode, which can be achieved by clicking on the Slideshow [>] icon above the featured image in the gallery to which the link will take you.) Here’s the link to full coverage: