Summer Traditions

A guest-kid recently asked me what kind of lemonade I buy. Because it is delicious. I’m telling you: it is delicious.

And my answer was smug: I make it!


Lemonade condensed

But there’s really nothing to be smug about, because it’s unbelievably easy. I just mix approximately 1 cup lemon juice (I usually use ReaLemon) with 1 cup sugar and 6 cups water.

Cute W makes it a little bit more labor-intensive because he’s a bit of a snob: he squeezes his own lemon juice and heats the sugar and some water together to ensure that it’s all dissolved to perfection, but whether you go lazy like me or awesome like him, either way it beats the hell out of store-bought.

At our house we’re also big fans of adding fresh mint to our lemonade, and the effect is so inspiring that J wrote a poem about it.

Okay, I’m way behind in catching up with all of you, and I’m sorry about that! I spent the first week after my vacation banging out a bunch of different articles about what we did while we are away, but they’re not quite ready for the world. Meanwhile, I wanted to share a fun summer tradition that was completely new to me: the Wet/Dry Parade.

We were visiting relatives in Colorado for the 4th of July, so we attended the Wet/Dry Parade in the small town of Florence, Colorado. When I raved about how fun it was, my Mom informed me that they do it near where she lives, in Tybee Island, Georgia. But I’ve never heard of one around here, and I think it’s so much fun that someone should start one. Or, if one does exist, please tell me when and where! And yes, yes: a teensy part of me felt guilty about the water wasted. But I’d skip watering my lawn and quite a few showers to go to another Wet/Dry Parade.

Here’s how it works. The beginning of the parade is your basic parade, aka a Dry Parade. If you are a little old lady in your lawn chair, if your child is water-phobic, or if you just want to stay dry for whatever reason, you can watch along the Dry portion and just enjoy the parade. In fact, if you are Super Lame and want to march in the parade, you can choose to march in the dry portion of the parade only. Along the route, there’s an intersection where these folks can make a turn and avoid the latter, wetter portion of the parade entirely.

Spectators who don’t mind getting wet can stand anywhere along the latter, wetter portion of the parade route. Those spectators who really want to get wet tend to congregate near the intersection that forms the barrier between wet and dry. On one of the corners of the intersection, folks set up huge barrels and tubs of water so that parade spectators who’ve brought along water guns or pump-blasters or whatever can refill them. There’s a bit of a dramatic pause as vehicles and marches cross from the Dry Zone to the Wet Zone. . .


Wet Dry Parade

. . . and then suddenly they’re looking at an unruly mob like this:

Wet Dry

It’s kind of crazy. It’s not for the little preschooler who doesn’t like water in his eyes. But for your typical school-aged kids, it’s awesome. And what makes it even better is the folks in the parade procession. They vary wildly. Some approach the parade as if it were a regular parade and attempt to protect themselves from the water onslaught. They might wear slickers and hats. I saw one little girl on a float with a large umbrella. Others go on the offensive, packing their floats with portable water tanks and hoses and other do-it-yourself creative water weaponry. Others take the dousing with mock dignity: think ladies in evening gowns and fancy hats, motorcycle gang members in leather chaps, police officers in full dress uniform, all marching to their soggy doom.

The best part–or, at least, according to me–is the way it felt like a huge community builder. Before going to the Wet/Dry Parade, I couldn’t imagine a situation in which I’d encourage my children to, say, blast a stranger with water. The teenagers clearly loved water-pummeling town leaders and authority figures, and for the most part, the grown-ups played back. It was a fun, silly way for people to connect in a whole new way.

After the parade, a fire truck set up one last way for everyone to get soaked.

Wet Dry Spray from Truck

I heard the water was so cold that the kids got brain freezes.

One Comment

  1. Big Sister

    Glad you are back posting! I NEVER heard of a Wet Dry Parade. What a fantastic idea!

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