The fact that there is a Fourth of July Parade at Polebridge is not really new news. The Parade is an annual affair which really has not changed much over the years. The parade is pretty short compared to other parades. The shortness is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the parade starts at the Merc, goes out to the North Fork Road (approx. ¼ mile), turns around and returns to the Merc where it ends. Floats are pretty similar from year to year.
There are always one or two political entries. Fortun-ately, these have been pretty well balanced between the right and the left. The political crap, in my mind, is always outweighed by the display of American flags and cute youngsters waving even more flags. Other floats depict various fun North Fork activities, often poking fun at ourselves.
A few years ago, Ray Brown instituted a 15 minute program where military veterans read passages from the Declaration of Independence or the U. S. Constitution. Yes Virginia, the vets are aware that July 4th celebrates the Declaration and the Constitution was not adopted until over a decade later. The veterans are also aware that these two documents establish the core of our government. It is certainly appropriate to recognize and read both as we celebrate our freedom and way of life.
Another recent addition to the festivities is Magician Dan Jimmerson who entertains the crowd from the time the parade passes by until it returns. Many magicians rely on sleight of hand and trickery in their act. Not Dan. What he does is real magic! I know this because I have personally watched him on multiple occasions and have watched wily teenagers trying to catch him in a trick. Since none of us succeeded it must be real magic.
Unchanged is the bakery and other opportunities to buy food and drink. Also, unchanged is the crowd.
Cars fill every available parking spot in Polebridge and both sides of the road out to the North Fork Road. The North Fork Road itself is lined with cars south nearly to Hay Creek and north to Square Peg Ranch. If these folks want a bear-claw they have over half a mile to walk.
Thanks to Rob Fisher, John O’Hara and the Caldwells for their unwavering support of the Parade for so many years as well as everyone who has ever participated.
Finally, the cap on the day was the great party/potluck at Dan and Dawn Jacobson’s Moose Creek home. Highlight for me was a great waterfight with Dan and Dawn’s 7-year-old granddaughter Josie Melton. I think she got the best of the battle! And we won’t even mention the silly string.
The popular Home Ranch Bottoms Cafe has been sold with the new owner taking over on July 1st. No doubt the menu will change and there may be other changes as well. I will try to inform readers of facts and I urge folks not to speculate. In the meantime I am tickled that the former owners are now closer to Trail Creek and will remain here as our neighbors.
Likewise, I wish the new owners good luck and success in their new venture.
Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.