We hit the road early in anticipation of a fourth of July parade like none other!! At least like none other that this city girl has seen. Our destination, Kunkle, OHIO! It is a very VERY small town out in the country, population, 246 people and is located approximately 65 miles from Toledo. That little town holds a special place in my heart. I am a Kunkle. Growing up I enjoyed watching my grandfather’s eyes light up when he talked about Kunkle Ohio, the family history, stories, etc. My grandfather passed away a few years back and is still deeply missed. So when asked if we wanted to attend the 4th of July parade it was something I couldn’t pass up, in a way it would be like visiting the memory of a magnificent man that I had the privilege of calling grandpa.
As we approached our destination suddenly cars started pulling over to the shoulder/field, mid-country road and parking. We would apparently be walking the rest of the way. Haha! As we took that stroll towards the parade route I was astonished at how many cars were parked and at the amount of people in this tiny little town. Clearly, this was THE PLACE to be!! We managed to find a small patch of grass that wasn’t claimed and we laid out our blanket and propped open our chairs and waited in anticipation for the parade to begin!
We could hear the roaring of the motorcycles approaching from around the corner. The first thing to capture the eye was all the red, white, and blue flags, the image was an impressive & patriotic one.
Then we did something amazing, the Master of Ceremony requested that we all say the Pledge of Allegiance. I can not think of a more perfect way to begin a 4th of July parade!! I fear sometimes we forget why we have the 4th of July, why we have the fireworks & cookouts. It is SO important that we teacher our children the history of the United States of America! (Here are some links on the Declaration of Independence: Education World, Books about the 4th of July, Lessons & Activities)
After the Pledge of Allegiance we then took a moment to commemorate all those who have served and scarified for our country….again something we, as parents, need to explain to our children that freedom isn’t free, so many have scarified so that we can be where we are today!
Speaking of history, it turns out that his parade originally began with a bunch of kids decorating their bikes. Who would have known it would evolve into the massive production it is today?
Our 4 year old nearly lost her mind when she saw a princess that was her age!! How adorable are they!?!
Then came, practically all little boys dream come true, a parade of fire trucks, SO MANY fire trucks!! It seemed like every county in the area had a truck in the parade. It was fascinating to see the various types of trucks, I had no idea there were so many! There were long ones, short ones, red ones, blue one….I sound like Dr. Seuss. LOL! And, as if seeing all those sweet fire trucks wasn’t enough, they, the passengers on the trucks, were tossing out candy to the crowd. The kiddos really made out on candy….look out Halloween you have some competition call the Kunkle 4th of July parade! Ha-ha!
What followed was something my kiddos have NEVER seen before, a parade of John Deeres and other various tractors, our son though it was the SWEETEST!!
There was beautiful horses, ponies, a woman (and I apologize for not recalling her name) who literally looked like she was straight out of the 1800s, dressed & riding side saddle. There was a 4-H float, church float, etc.
Suddenly there were semis coming through the parade, at first I thought the parade was over but then I realized they were part of the parade. Again, something you NEVER see in a city parade.
Check this out, see that HUGE log? That is heading to Sauder’s to be transformed. How cool is that? I thought it was such a great opportunity for the kiddos to see how the log is transported.
I so enjoyed not only watching the parade but watching my children’s expressions as they soaked in this new experience. It was unlike anything we would see in the city which is what made it that much more memorable!
We will totally go back next year! But in terms of living in the country, which was honestly something I thought I wanted to do, I don’t think I could handle it. You can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl. Lol! The fumes from the tractors, semis, horses, etc. combined with the hot sun did get the best of me, I started to feel a little queasy. A country girl I am not! But I sure do enjoy visiting from time-to-time!
HUGE thank you to all the magnificent people who organized the parade, were in the parade, etc. I do believe we just started a new family tradition, grandpa would be proud!
Hope everyone had a safe & enjoyable 4th!! God Bless America!