The annual Fourth of July parade on Phillips Road is always sold to me as a Classic Car parade, and it may have been that at one point in time, but it’s actually just people from the neighborhood driving down and flinging candy at whoever is nearby, which is much more fun anyway.
As far as I know, this isn’t an officially sanctioned event. I’m told that about forty years ago some guy strapped some flags onto his car and drove up and down Phillips Road banging on a cowbell. The following year a few others joined him, and since then it has become a neighborhood staple without actually getting much bigger.
It’s a refreshingly sweet and local event, free of politics or commerce or even a grander purpose. The neighbors all come out and stand at the end of their gravel driveways. Some come out when they hear the car horns, others come out a half-hour or so early and set up tables with drinks and snacks. One family turned their driveway into a veritable outdoor restaurant, with a half-dozen tables and a rather elaborate coffee station. Kids gather to strategize about how to get the most candy. If someone brings an airhorn, then they plan out who will get to blow it when.
It starts at 8 am and lasts maybe a half hour. Participation seems to include anybody who can get to the starting line in time.
There are inevitably a few people—renters, tourists, newcomers—who don’t know about the parade and go out for their morning jog, and are surprised (I assume pleasantly) when they get cheered on enthusiastically by the crowds that have mysteriously gathered. Some look confused, but most play along.
These are some of my favorite pictures from this morning. Happy birthday, America.