I just got back from marching in Provo's Freedom Festival 4th of July parade. I'm sure it's the largest 4ofJ parade in the whole country, and if I were less lazy I would look it up to confirm that. It's huge, though. 300,000 people, usually. I was in it this year. I haven't been in the parade since I was ten. Back then I was a "freedom ringer," which is a cub scout who wears his uniform and a giant bell like a sandwich board and bangs pots and pans up and down the parade route. Doesn't that sound so 1950's Americana? 'Twas.
Today I walked in the parade because a show I'm directing, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, is performing at Sundance all this summer. And, say, if you wanted to come, you might find tickets here. PTA's own Patrick was cast in the show for five minutes but then he dropped out, even though he knew I needed someone with a removable tooth! Oh, well, I'm over it! Anyway, I walked in the parade with the actors to promote the show.
It's a very different thing to be in the parade than to watch it. But I thought, overall, it was really fun! I'm not shy in front of groups, thankfully, so it was easy for me to smile and wave and yell things out. The actors were all in costume, and they were great; they chased each other and danced and kissed and kidnapped women who cheered too loudly. I was really proud of them, especially because the parade was just under fifty miles long and the temperature was around 120 and they had to wear buckskin pants and petticoats. I got to wear a Sundance t-shirt and some really sporty trousers from Primark.
One thing that sort of irritated me was some of the people in the crowd; maybe 50% of the people in the crowd. I'm being polite; it was like 70%. They just sat there. They didn't clap, smile, or wave. And it's fine to respond that way if I'm walking around making everyone do their times tables, but I had actors doing back flips and kissing and ax jumping! Really tricky ax jumping, and smiling while they did it! And people just sit there. No response. What is wrong with these people? Why do they hate freedom? Lisa says that people are hot and the parade is long and they can't cheer and clap for everyone. She has a good point. But I literally think we could have been naked or riding silver ponies on two legs (or both) and they still would have just sat there. What do you people want???? We're not allowed to throw candy so don't ask!!!!
Anyway, there were a lot of people who clapped and waved. I loved those people. We also had a lot of people singing lyrics to the songs from the show, and we had fun with them. And time went by quickly and, like I said, we actually had a great time doing it. But if you are reading this and you were a big jerk at the parade today who wouldn't smile or clap when a bunch of loggers and frontier gals came by, shame on you! We gave you a gift, and you spat on it. Next year we're going to do Hair and we'll see how you all like that!