One popular event which our county fair offers each year is the Sunday afternoon parade, a 2.6 mile route that runs from a downtown shopping center to the fairgrounds in the country. Our church is a block off of the parade route, so we traditionally have a church picnic after services on that Sunday so people don't have to go home to eat before viewing the parade, which starts at 1:20.
Even on my way to church at 8:00 AM, the sidewalks in the area were dotted with lawn chairs, blankets and canopies where people had staked out their preferred parade-viewing real estate. I didn't have time to nab my own spot. I had to get to the church kitchen to begin work since I was in charge of the picnic.
Fortunately, the church had done a hog roast last month for a kick-off meal for Vacation Bible School, and had frozen enough leftovers to feed the church today. This meant I didn't need to arrange for one of the men of the church to grill during the service, as is often the case for our summertime carry-ins.
After church my committee and I got to work, loading up the table of savories. Along with the pulled pork sandwiches, the people of the church brought green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, macaroni and cheese, relish trays, deviled eggs, (I had sent out a reminder email about the church meal and gave a winking mention that there never seem to be enough deviled eggs. Today we had five trays of them. But STILL there were only about six eggs halves left.) and all manner of salads: macaroni, taco, fruit, cucumber, jello, lettuce.
We had a nice variety of desserts, too. Fruit cobblers, pies, cakes, cookies and more jello.
People wasted no time in filling their plates. Some of our parishoners were participating in the parade in some way, so a few ate and dashed and a few others skipped the meal altogether.
I love church potlucks.
The kind of tableware we choose to use is sort of controversial. Some people like to use the paper and plastic (which would have been sensible for a picnic) but there are others who scold that we are a church in financial crisis (like many small churches in pre-war, expensive-to-maintain church buildings) and need to not use disposable plates and silverware when we have cabinets full of china, stainless steel and glass. To stay out of the controversy, I'm always willing to wash dishes alongside the other worker bees. It's more environmentally responsible, too.
After the dishes were washed and put away, we walked the block to join church friends for viewing the parade. Ten minutes before the parade steps off, somewhere around 400 runners, joggers and plodders begin racing the route which ends at the fairground grandstand, with a final lap around the track which makes it an even 5K. We waved and screamed at our buddy, Dean, who waved and screamed right back.
We waved and screamed at our buddy Ron, who is leading this pack and means business about the race and isn't going to trifle with a bunch of lunatics on the sidewalk.
The girls and I stayed for about an hour of the parade, which included, reasonably:
and Chubby Shriners.
It was a good day, even though I got sunburned on my decolletage.
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