Maybe I've been confusing hot weather with general summertime - when the days are long and pleasant and the temperature around here mostly hovers in the 80s. This non-hot, non-humid weather is wonderful, which of course is why we pay so much for our houses. But hot hot weather is just uncomfortable.
Which brings me to the Fourth of July Parade. I hear from the old-timers around here that Danville has had all kinds of weather for the parade during the last five decades. It's usually hot but it's also been cold and it's been cloudy and it even rained once. For the last three years I have gone to the parade and stayed from beginning to end, walking up and down the route talking to people and taking photos. (Would anyone like 600 pictures of the last three Fourth of July parades? A few of them aren't bad.) And you know what? It's been hot.
This year the Danville Weekly is going to actually be in the parade - meaning Ad Manager Mary Hantos and me. We have the pleasure of sponsoring the combined high school band, which, hopefully, will put a spring in my step. Mary and I will carry the identifying banner followed by flag girls and musicians from the four local high schools, who are nice enough to give up time during their summer holidays to practice and then to participate.
I love band music, having grown up marching in parades twirling a baton with the Fancy Steppers in San Jose. Baton twirling was big in the '50s; there were five or six groups in the Bay Area and we would compete against each other in several parades a year. The organizers would place the bands next to the baton units and when they launched into a piece, we would perform our routine. Baton twirling seems to be a thing of the past but I keep going to parades and enjoying them.
This year's Fourth of July Parade is a special one because it celebrates Danville's 150th birthday, and the 50th anniversary of Hay Days, which celebrated Danville's 100th birthday. So the Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley, which runs the parade, is going all out. It's even holding another Hay Days on July 3 with some of the same highlights - an old-fashioned swimsuit contest, a talent show and more. From Railroad Avenue to Front Street, there will be hayrides and train rides and fun and music. The town is holding a free barbecue at the Town Green from 4-7 p.m. All the details are in the second section inside this paper.
Because this parade is special, Kiwanis is starting the parade at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, and has asked all the entries to provide entertainment value. The Danville Weekly wanted to participate but wondered what we could possibly do to be entertaining. Perhaps Mary could play the kazoo and I could twirl my old baton? Luckily we found out the high school band needed a sponsor. San Ramon Valley High School music director Cheryl Yee Glass, who is coordinating the band, feels it's important for students to be an active part of the community.
Now I only have to worry about the weather. I've been advised to dress as lightly as possible, and to wear the most comfortable shoes I own. Apparently walking in a parade, with all the stops and standing around, isn't the same as walking back and forth along the route. Also I've been told to wear a hat and carry water. Sounds like I need a "band mom" to carry stuff for me. Since I don't have anyone willing to take on the job, I guess I'll carry everything - plus, of course, a camera to document the 2008 Fourth of July Parade.
-Dolores Fox Ciardelli can be e-mailed at editor@DanvilleWeekly.com.