I had heard that the Harvest Parade in the small town of Viroqua was special. This year I got to see it for myself.
On a blustery but sunshiny afternoon, we gathered with others along the Main Street and waited for what turned out to be twenty minutes of sheer delight.
This was a people-powered parade ending at the local park for more fun and festivities. There were no big floats, firetrucks, no public politics or advertisements, no convertibles with dignitaries or beauty queens.
But there were village people galore, dressed in harvest -themed, homemade creative colorful costumes, towering stilt walkers, and gigantic handmade puppets, children of all ages – lots of them – with parents all decked out to honor Fall’s bounty, unicyclists, scooters, bikes, and a lively ragtime band bringing up the rear.
Watching this joyful display of merriment made one forget the challenging news of the day – and, instead, feel happy, carefree, grateful. And those who participated in the parade made this happen for us – just by loving every minute of it themselves.
This was a time for every man, woman, and child to recall how to be playful, to celebrate in this simple, innocent, creative, community way.
And so I encourage all of us parents, grandparents, childcare providers, and teachers to find their own ways to celebrate with their children – to march, run, skip, chase, kick balls, be silly, hide and seek, and shriek with glee when found.
Together, let’s pay homage to the innocence of children- of playing together.
Our own ‘ode to joy’!