November 6, 2022

Fairfax 4th of July Parade

Before we start today’s discussion, I want to highlight that I’m experimenting a bit with the blog layout. I want it to be a little more user friendly, so I switched the side menu/selection do-hicky on allowing for you, the kind reader to be able to more easily navigate what is getting to be an appreciable number of blog postings. I’m also going to add a “featured image” to bring some interest to the page.

As we have discussed, Melanie and I are currently living in the City of Fairfax in Fairfax County in Virginia. We sold our home in Reston in 2021 in anticipation of our retirement home. The search for that has been a bit protracted, and we decided, and through an interesting confluence of events we have decided to build a house in Ford’s Colony in Williamsburg, VA. That’s an interesting tale in and of itself, and at some point we’ll talk more about it.

After Chris’ most excellent Greek adventure (?) ended, life resumed and we went about our daily business.

The kid’s decided they wanted to come to the Fairfax 4th of July Parade in Fairfax this year. Jourdan had a mandatory weeklong 4th of July inflicted by his company, so he and Stephanie decided to come spend some time up yonder. They had teamed up with Meghan and wanted to come parading, as it were.

The camera du jour on this little adventure was the trusty Fuji X-T2 with the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS and the XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS all comfortably ensconced in the Think Tank Retrospective 7 bag that I like so much. The X-T2 is definitely becoming the camera most picked up. Dunno whether that is good or bad. The x100f is a fairly constant companion now when I’m travelling for work. It’s easy to carry and entirely capable. The red headed step child in this family is the X-Pro2. It’s a great camera, just not one I pick up all that frequently. H’mmm.

So, we all congregated at the house and departed on foot at around 10 o’clock. As we were early, we decided to take a lap around the proposed route to get a feel for where we wanted to view the parade. Here is the route:

We decided to watch the parade at University and South street near the Fire Station as there is a big parking lot there and plenty of space so as not to be shoulder-to-shoulder in the crowd. Still a bit “twitchy” after my London/CV 19 experience….

The parade began around the corner at the Courthouse, so we saw the start through the buildings and waited excitedly.

As usual for these types of events, I shot a metric ton of images. Some 133 of them made it through culling and post processing. I’m not going to bombard you, the kind reader with all 133 of these. The entire tranche is here for your casual review.

To be honest a lot of this parade is free political campaigning. I’ve not included any of that here, you can see the entirety at here. With that, let’s have a look at a few of the highlights!

As with many parades, this one is interspersed with marching troups/vehicles/ and “floats”. I put parenthesize floats as these really aren’t floats. If you wanna see floats, check this out.

Anywho, we started with a marching band dressed in some sort of revolutionary uniforms. When they passed us they weren’t playing, just keeping time for the marching cadence.

Several types of flag/baton wavers were present. This was the first one.

Throughout the parade, there were military style vehicles, mostly Jeep kinda things. Here are the first few:

This float came by and we found it rather interesting. The Freedom Museum declares it’s mission to be:

Our museum’s mission is to preserve & retell these stories — documenting our local veterans & their valor, exploring their contributions to history, & evoking a renewed sense of American pride.

We made a note to put it on the list of things to do.

Pipes. LOVE.THE.PIPES. Sorry, I’m just a stupid fool for pipe music. Can’t get enough. This was a small troupe but they sounded good.

The Shriners were out in their little go cart thingies. There were far fewer this year than last. Down to under 10 from over 20 last year. To add insult to injury, one was being towed by a support vehicle as it had evidently expired.

There were lot of balloons this year. Some interesting some…. not

There were a lot of cars in the parade this year. Most having some sort of political signage. This was a very nice ’57 Chevy.

The middle of the parade presented the law enforcement contingent. Good to see these folks out.

Following the law enforcement brigade was this little character in A very nice ’50’s Chevy pick up. Nice resto-mod.

The next phase of the parade was the armed forces brigades.

Following which were the fire brigades. Only a couple are included here. Lot’s more here:

Getting near the end, the balloons were becoming more frequent. It was interesting as the area where we were standing has some fairly low wires strung across the street. The balloon handlers had to pull the balloons down to clear the wires. Many of them struggled with this as they had to get very low. The organizers might want to consider this for next year’s parade.

A bevy of beautiful early model cars greeted us. These were amazing and in wonderful states of restore. Great to see.

Following that was the Mustang contingent. There were a bevy of them including an electric Mustang at the end. I don’t genuinely consider a 4 door electric car to be a Mustang, but I’m not in marketing.

With yet more and taller balloons. You can see the wires crossing the street in the background.

Like the Mustang segment, there was a Viper segment. Fewer in number than the Mustangs, though. I’m not a huge Viper fan, but they are interesting cars

I thought this guy in the clown outfit was amusing. Luckily it wasn’t too hot as he would have been miserable.

There was a large Latino marching group all very colorfully dressed. All in perfect cadence, all extremely well choreographed. Great to see.

Balloons. Gotta have balloons! And getting taller as the parade gets to the end…..

Pipes. Lovely pipes. These folks sounded really good.

And as last year we have Falun Dafa. Interesting group.

And we wrapped up in the Red, White and Blue star balloons.

The kids and I made our way to the house and had some brats for lunch. It was a great outing.

Next time, we’ll delve into the whole retirement home process. It’s been ongoing for about a year now, and hopefully we are making progress, although sometimes I wonder.