And now for something completely different: The Round Pond Parade

Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 in Features

And now for something completely different: The Round Pond Parade

by Steve Cartwright

ROUND POND – In a quarter-century of Independence Days, the Round Pond Fourth of July Parade has grown from a handful of local folks to several thousand people streaming in from all over. But the local folks are still there, and this "anyone can join, no rules" event keeps its free-spirited character. Sometimes it's satire of our politicians – plenty of material for that – or poking fun at tourists, fishermen ... anything. Sometimes it's just silly. From the precision lawn-chair brigade to Gov. Paul LePage popping out of a jack-in-the-box. From Lady Gaga for libraries to President Obama with a sign saying "my surge is bigger."

My surge

Many people parked their cars a half-mile or more from tiny Round Pond, a village with a harbor shared by classic wooden yachts and lobster boats. Some rode in on bicycles, some brought lawn chairs and picnics and an assortment of beverages. You see your friends here. You can make new ones. There's a hint of Woodstock in the air.

manly

It's a family event and it's a floating party. The Lincoln County sheriff's deputies were on hand, but had zero problems and enjoyed the parade with the rest of the festive crowd. This parade isn't really promoted, although it now has a Facebook page. It's what we would call, back in the 1960s, a "happening." It happens, and those on hand were happy. it was a hot, sunny day but far from unbearably so. I asked someone about her water bottle. It's gin and tonic, she said. I thought she was kidding and took a sip. She wasn't. "Pirate water," she explained.

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