Happy 4th of July from the "Down East" area of Maine.
Due to the long winters here, the 4th is a much anticipated holiday - probably the only major holiday of the year where you have pretty good chances of fair weather.
In small towns all across America it creates an opportunity for local residents to celebrate their accomplishments as a community and to remember their fellows who gave up their time and in some cases their lives for the national agenda.
We start our day in the town of Cutler.
Cutler has a population of just over 500, and sits on a small bay just off the Atlantic on 47 square miles of land. That puts the population density at about ten people per square mile.
The town itself sits right on the bay. The adjoining cliffs that run down to the Atlantic are quite picturesque.
The parade route is shown in its entirety in the photo below.
It starts atop the hill in the distance, then wends its way down to the town's flag-pole, just to the left of where the photo was taken from.
Leading off the parade is a large limo with the town's two oldest veterans. Behind that is the "Kiddie Parade."
Kids start off on 4 wheelers young here - I saw many that don't appear much older than 5 years old tooling around on them.
The local baseball team passed its time trying to pelt spectators with hard candy and bubble gum.
If you weren't paying attention to the parade you became a likely target.
The town's fried donut maker looked on with dismay.
The younger children seemed to be wondering what all the fuss was about.
And fire trucks. You got to have fire trucks.
The local school teachers had a float and were dressed as pirates.
When the procession reached the town's flag pole, they all halted, sang the national anthem, raised the flag and then listened to a few words from their oldest vet. He is 94 years old and was at Pearl Harbor as well as Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.
Other things on the agenda for the day was a gum chewing contest, a cracker eating contest, wheelbarrow races and a three legged race. After a barbeque meal to benefit the town's scholarship fund, they were also going to have a contest where you have to run across lobster crates that are tied up out in the water. They announced that this year they would not be pulling people who fell into boats, but would tow them to shore.
Rather than hang around for those festivities, we are heading down the coast about twenty miles to another town right along the water - Jonesport Maine.
Settled in the mid 1700's, Jonesport is a fishing town. I counted over 200 working boats out in the harbor, and at least 5 fisheries dot the shores.
This area is remote seashore - over 200 uninhabited islands are right around Jonesport. This whole stretch of Maine features many miles of beach and oceanfront forest that are completely virgin land.
Jonesport parade starts with an honor guard from the local Coast Guard Station.
About a dozen Masons carry various flags, including the Canadian flag.
After the Masons, a beauty queen in a Mercedes.
Then the fire trucks. Got to have fire trucks. This pink deuce-and-a-half is painted for breast cancer awareness.
The the town's main fisheries send through a few of their newer trucks.
Followed by a dozen Masons as Muppets.
Followed by another beauty queen in a Ford convertible.
More Masons - this time a half dozen in Corvette convertibles.
And another beauty Queen - this one in a Riviera convertible.
This followed by about a dozen Masons in miniature motorized semi trucks.
Followed by - catching on yet? - another beauty queen - this one in a Chevy with a sunroof.
Next we have about a dozen Masons in miniaturized fishing boats.
Yep - another beauty queen. This one in a Hyundai with a sunroof.
More Masons - a half dozen "Keystone Kops" this time.
Another beauty queen - this one on a plastic chair in the back of a pickup truck.
You guessed it - more Masons. This time it is a dozen of them in miniature 4WD trucks.
Yep, another beauty queen. This one in a kitchen chair on a lawn and garden trailer.
More Masons. This time they are riding go-carts.
A half-dozen of them take turns speeding up and over a ramp that is affixed atop a Suburban.
Yeah - you got it again. Another beauty queen, this time sitting on a bucket atop a hay-wagon.
There were a bunch of guys dressed in drag playing jazz music - having a ball.
Speaking of balls, there was a float depicting two scientists trying to determine the air pressure of a pair of footballs.
It seems that the local pro football team, the Patriots, won the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. But in the game before the Superbowl, it seems a bit less air pressure was an advantage for the local team as the balls were easier to catch and grip. No word on whether these local lads solved the issue or not - I wouldn't give them high odds using scales to detect air pressure difference.
Other events planned for the weekend were - you guessed it - a bunch of beauty pageants, boat races, chainsaw artists, tug of war contests, crate races, a road race, an art show and a flea market. No apparent Mason's recruitment drive though.
That brings us to today's "Faces in the Crowd."
This was the keyboardist with the cross-dressing band. I guess at his age he couldn't bring himself to dress up in drag, but compromised with the wig.
And today's parting shot -
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Have a great day !!