Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Drive - the Carmel birthday parade

Carmel is one of those places that enchants a lot of people and attracts busloads of visitors. I can see why, it's beautiful and charming and almost seems like a make-believe town. Perhaps it's all the fairytale cottages or the tree-lined main street, full of shops, that ends right at the edge of the sparkling blue ocean. Maybe it's the assortment of art galleries, high end jewelry shops and gourmet restaurants that leads people to believe that Carmel is a vacation paradise but not the type of place where real people live.

And yet, I assure you that real people live here, dodging in and out of the many visitors who sometimes forget that they can't just stop in the middle of the road to check the map they picked up at the visitor's center. We welcome the tourists and schedule wonderful events for them (Concours d'Elegance, Bach Festival, AT&T golf tournament) but sometimes we like to throw a little party just for us.

The Carmel Birthday Parade is an event for the locals. The town founders were brilliant enough to incorporate the town on October 31, 1916 so every year on the Saturday closest to Halloween, we throw ourselves a little birthday bash complete with a parade. This isn't your usual type of parade, there are no marching bands or floats. This is a real community parade where everyone is welcome to participate. All town organizations are invited to have a car in the parade or to walk behind a banner. The police and fire departments haul out their shiniest equipment to drive up and down Ocean Avenue with lights and sirens going off every few seconds.

The best part, however, is that anyone that would like to walk behind all the cars is welcome. So, many of us turn out every year in our best costumes (or not) and wave at all the bystanders on the sidewalks. There are lots of children in costume but, Carmel being Carmel, the kids are usually outnumbered by all the costume.

Here are a few photos from yesterday's parade to show you why it's my favorite event of the year.

Of course the most amazing dog in the parade was my darling Shifu. 

But there were many other cute dogs there too.

And look, we even had kids in the parade!

It wouldn't be a 2014 Halloween event without an Elsa. I heard that this year's Halloween drinking game will be to take a drink every time an Elsa shows up at your door on Friday. Good thing the next day is Saturday!

Marching down main street - Ocean Avenue.

Our police department has only the most modern of equipment, of course! Isn't that car a beauty. I wish they'd let me take a ride in it one day.

 When it's all over the whole town heads to the local community center for hot dogs and chips. At $5/person, it's the best deal in a long shot!

Oh no, Shifu is dismayed that we've reached the end and it's time to go home. 

We can't wait to do it all again next year!

1 comment:

  1. Oh what a fun event that looks like! Your little pup looks absolutely adorable:) Do you guys get any trick or treater's at your door? We didn't get any last year but my husband still insists we need to buy candy!


Pull up a chair on the porch, have some lemonade and leave your comment in my mailbox. Thanks for visiting my little cottage!