Sunday, August 11, 2019

Mosaic Monday #40: A Parade and a Potato

Dear reader, over several posts (May 26, June 16 and July 14), I have been stringing you along, sharing tales of our visit to Spokane.  Finally, we have arrived at the pinnacle - the Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade.  And what a spectacle it is.  The festivities begin early in the day, when the floats are parked under a highway underpass near downtown.  I was delighted to learn that the public can view them.

Float for Lilac Festival Princesses
As we walked among them, it became apparent that most of the floats represented communities that have festivals of their own, such as the Apple Blossom Festival.  We marveled at the creativity and workmanship.  At one float, a couple of gentlemen hovered, and I took the opportunity to ask a few questions.

Do these communities use the same float every year?  Most make a new float every year, reflecting a theme that the community selects.
Float for Apple Blossom Festival Princesses (100th year of that Festival)

Isn't that a massive effort for one parade?  It isn't just one parade - most of these communities have parades for their own festivals, and everyone participates.  A float may appear in as many as 13 or 14 parades over the spring/summer.

Do all the floats carry princesses?  Most feature princesses but some transport other royalty or other community groups.  The selection of the princesses is a significant event in these communities.  (And, as we would later observe during the parade, most of the princesses have a prepared dance routine that they perform on the float to the music emanating from it.)  This is a big deal, folks!
I have only shown you a small selection of the floats - some were hard to 
photograph due to how they were parked.  You will just have to go and see
it for yourself!

Unlike most parades, this one takes place at night, hence the name "Torchlight Parade".   I channeled my inner child and inhaled an ice cream while waiting for 7.45 p.m. to arrive.  Spectators thronged the sidewalks, with chairs, blankets and children in tow.  Vendors strolled the cordoned-off streets, hawking cotton candy, balloons and every possible item with lights.  Stationed as we were at the start of the parade route, I can tell you the parade commenced right on time.  The police sirens began to wail and the motorcycle police cavalcade got the party started.

Over the next two and a half hours, we were charmed by countless high school marching bands, military groups, drill teams, equestrian units, antique cars and of course, floats.  The participants are encouraged to use lighting, and it was fascinating to observe the same floats we had seen earlier in the day, now lit in creative ways.

Here is a short video of the Lilac Princesses, who appeared near the beginning of the parade.

I am partial to high school marching bands, since #1 Son was a member of the drum line in high school, and held a leadership position as an upperclassman.  Hence, I captured numerous bands on video, and I down-selected snippets of the best for you.  With hindsight, I wish we had been a little further from the start of the route.  Many of the bands waited to start playing until the next block, and I regretted not hearing them perform.  

Band playing a military march, which seemed very appropriate for a Armed Forces parade.

This band outdid every other band with lights, from their hats to little lights on their shoes.

This band had a GIGANTIC percussion session - oh, how I miss drum line!

OK, not EVERY video was a band - the crowd LOVED the Hot Mamas, and I think this short video tells the story well.

May nights in Spokane can still be chilly, and after a couple of hours I was ready to snatch a blanket from one of the nearby kids.  (Of course, I didn't!)  Also, we had been standing all this time … But we stayed to the end (do not stray from the quest is a family motto), and then made our way to the food truck area to see what might still be open.  A short while later we scarfed piping hot (temperature and taste) Mexican food as we walked back to our hotel.  What a wonderful night!
Moon behind Looff Carousel

The next day, we said farewell to Spokane and cruised toward Idaho.  What do you think of when you consider Idaho?  Well, I think potato.  What could be better than an Idaho potato in Idaho?  Are you tired of me using the word Idaho?

Our tummies were rumbling as we approached the town of Sandpoint, and Yelp surfaced a restaurant I just knew we had to try: Spuds Waterfront Grill.  
From the moment we entered, I knew we had chosen well - we were greeted first by the desserts.
I am highly unlikely to eat an Elvis Cake, but I sure like the chutzpah of a restaurant that would serve one!

It was too windy to sit on the deck overlooking the marina, but we had seats next to the window that were the next best thing.  I was delighted with my meal - yes, a spud.  Mine was the "Drag it Through the Garden" potato, with spinach, broccoli, red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, mushrooms and a green onion dill dressing.  I was in heaven.  An Idaho potato in Idaho - my journey was complete.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.

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  1. Wow … this parade is quite an achievement! So much work to put on a great parade like this. Yet is done regularly in many communities ... showing the proud, creative and noble side of being human. That’s also a pretty impressive potato buried under all that other good stuff!

  2. Boy, they sure know how to do a parade there and that potato looks incredible!

  3. Love this! Fun and great memories (from very very long ago). (Our high school band stepped out to the tune “yes we have no bananas”... our little town down in a deep valley 100 miles away was then known, at least to itself, as Washington’s banana belt.). Your video skills are as impressive as your writing and photography (and that is greatly impressive). I’m going back to watch Dan Levy; those mamas were hilarious in your video.. Thanks for hosting.

  4. ...I thought that you were stringing me along! Now that quite a potato. Have a great week.

  5. Looks like such a fantastic parade and I want some cake!

  6. Great video's - so much energy! Thank you for sharing your trip Angie. That was a wonderful baked potato "Drag It Through the Garden" lunch. Thank you too for your 40th Mosaic Monday. Have a great week.

  7. A fantastisc Parade... thank you for sharing this.

    Happy MosaicMonday, I wish you a wonderful week 😘

  8. Hello, the floats are so pretty. I am the parade at night was a lovely sight to see. The baked potato looks delicious, YUM! Nice view of the carousel and moon. Thanks for hosting MM. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead.

  9. The lowly spud can be a gourmet's delight - and I think you just proved that point,

  10. I love a big baked potato...I would have been in heaven! And the floats are beautiful. Love your nighttime photo of the carousel! It's gorgeous! Looks like fun!

  11. Quite a spectacular display of floats, Angie! There was definitely much to see and do in your trip.

  12. That is some potato! The extent of my baked potato experiences stop at sour cream and chives, Angie!

  13. I'd never thought of a series of parades. Around here, I ought to check.
    Great information!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  14. A mosaic from me today, literally, a mosaic!

  15. Well, that was a spectacle! So much glitter that it's like Christmas :) Your potato dish looks delicious. Happy MM.

  16. What a nice (and bright) parade. Rootbeer cake. Yum.

  17. Thanks for sharing your sooo beautiful Lilac Festival
    Happy Mosaic Monday


  18. interesting that they hold a parade at night.

  19. I do like your family motto - i reckon that can get you through most things life throws at you: "do not stray from the quest!"
    The carnival looks amazing I would not have strayed either!
    I'm glad you got a great spud (potato in case you were wondering!) Thanks for hosting.
    Wren x

  20. Hot Mamas! Love it. Our town has six parades every year, between late May and the weekend after Thanksgiving. I think it would be fun to march in one of the parades with the Husband and friends. We'd call ourselves something like the Young Old Fogeys. :-)
    I love all those vegetables on your potato, Angie. Yummmm.

  21. Hi Angie, the orange object that you asked about in my "Maze" mosaic is a fungus growing on a dead tree trunk.

  22. I love parades, marching bands, the whole deal. Loved all those floats...amazing work goes in behind the scenes. That loaded potato would definitely be a favourite for Irish showing. LOL

  23. Parades are so much fun! The floats are truly works of art! Very nice! Have a wonderful day!

  24. i am a parade lover and what a parade that was!! the floats were amazing and the hot mama's, they were awesome!!

    the potato looks so good, what a great name they picked for it!!!

  25. Wow! What an event and fantastic photos and videos of the gorgeous parade ~ and that is quite the Potato in Idaho ^_^

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  26. Both the parades and the potato are a feast!

  27. That menu looks as creative as the many floats. Elvis cake with peanut butter sounds rather yummy. I think I would have to try Spuds Waterfron Grill, if only for the name. I guess he’s a Murphy?

    It’s good that communities come together to create those floats, and of course we have as similar idea here in the UK where our floats do the rounds of several communities in May, June and July.

    Angie, we are having the most awful August with the whole of Augusts’ rainfall and more having dropped already.

  28. I would love to attend that parade sometime. It looks like so much fun!


  29. What fantastic parades and at night too, lots of fun. That is a killer of a potato. :)
    Beautiful photos, Angie.
    Enjoy your day!

  30. Fun parade.

    I want that potato. Wow, that looks fabulous.

    Have a wonderful day, Angie. ♥

  31. Hi Angie wow the floats are all so pretty and interesting,and all the lovely food is making me hungry,thankyou for sharing your fun time,hope your day is a good one my friend xx

  32. That's a loaded potato like I've never seen before. Marching bands are always fun. Both my boys were in band, no marching though. :) My eldest ended his last year of band with an incredible drum performance that got a very long standing ovation.

  33. You sure know how to seek out fun! What a fantastic parade! And that potato looked incredible. Great choice! ☺ Kit

  34. That Idaho potato and all the trimmings looks mighty good! How fun are those floats. So much work involved with each one. Looks like a fabulous festival and parade.

  35. Loved the parade and videos , thank you for them. Your bands seem to march quicker than the bands we have here 😊 the floats looked amazing. How was your potato!!! 🙃🙃 i had an Idaho potato when we were in Vegas, I loved it.


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