I remember that 2001 parade as being one of the most impressive parades I'd ever seen. The 2001 parade took place just over 2 months before 9/11.
I wondered what changes in this parade I might notice, post 9/11 and over a decade later.
One big difference I noticed early on in the parade. That being the Macy's Parade balloon size character you see in the picture above. That being the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy waving on top of a float.
Bud Kennedy was following the Wheelin' Elvi. The Wheelin' Elvi were quite amusing. There were a lot of Elvi Wheelin.'
The above guy really is a dead ringer for Elvis.
One of the charms of the Arlington 4th of July Parade is it appears that just about anyone who wants to be in the parade gets to be in the parade, like the unicyclers above and the parade entry below.
Another impressive element of the Arlington 4th of July Parade is the level of participation of Arlington schools. Multiple high school marching bands, cheerleaders, drill units, football teams. The following set of pictures are of various schools and their various parade entries.
And then there was my favorite school entry. The Native All-Star Football Classic float. I have no idea what the Native All-Star Football Classic is.
As the Native All-Stars passed by me and the natives saw my camera aimed at them, the group did this synchronized "And How" thing with a wave.
At one point something happened overhead that caused everyone, those in the parade and those watching the parade, to look skyward.
Above you can see people looking up to see what was making the loud noise.
What caught everyone's attention was several groups of airplanes flying overhead in formation. It was an impressive thing to see.
The above was the Babe's parade entry. As in Babe's Chicken. Best fried chicken I've ever had. I've only been to the Roanoke Babe's, never to the Arlington Babe's. When the Babe's bus passed a snarky parade watcher was overheard saying, "And people say Arlington has no public transit."
Whenever anything to do with America's military passed by everyone sitting stood. Some saluted. Many yelled thanks. I do not remember this being the way the parade viewers reacted back on July 4, 2001, prior to 9/11 and two tiresome wars.
The next three military parade entries are examples of that which stirred people's patriotic fervor.
No one stood and saluted the entry below, though I did hear a guy say, "God bless them..."
The white sash under the crown, below, says "Arlington Queen of Queens." I have no idea what this means. Is this the mother of multiple Arlington Queens? She seemed to be quite happy being the Arlington Queen of Queens.
And then you have the bevy of belly dancers, led by the belly dancing queen you see below.
You have to admit that the above is the most patriotic belly dancing outfit you've ever seen.
And, now, the final picture from today's Arlington 4th of July Parade is of something I definitely did not see in 2001, and is something that seems to have infected America's popular culture, for reasons inexplicable to me.
Zombies. Multiple Zombies. With the guy above being the most disturbing of the Zombies.
All in all, I enjoyed Arlington's 2013 4th of July Parade. I arrived well after the parade had begun, easily found parking near the parade's half way mark and found my viewing spot moments before the parade arrived at that location.
Previously, after watching a Texas parade I have opined that Texas towns put on the best parades I have ever seen.
Today, in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, the big parade for the 4th of July takes place in Sedro-Woolley, it being part of the Loggerodeo celebration. Maybe the Loggerodeo parade has changed since I last watched it, but I do not remember the Sedro-Woolley High School band marching in the parade. Or the cheerleaders. Or the drill team. Or the football team. Let alone any of the other local schools participating.