Oh what fun! No one can put on a parade and have a local party like small town America! I do love these happy festivals. The whole town turned out. Everyone who does anything of any sort in the community shows up for the parade. There’s a lot of things for the kids to do. There are stalls selling neat and fun overpriced items. The Tupperware ladies are out showing off their wares. The Scented Candles Ladies have their stalls. There are a dozen different tables dedicated to weight loss schemes that are assured to work if you hand over your money. In this festival there were also several fund raising bake sales and book sales so a bargain was possible.
This year there was also politics. It is an election year and so there was a stall for the Democrats and one for the Republicans. Three sheriffs and a judge were also in the running. Trump had his own stall too although the man himself was too busy in South Carolina to make an appearance. I love to listen into American politics as a visiting Canadian.
“If Trump gets in I’m moving to Canada!” one woman at the Democratic table proudly told me as if disliking Trump would mean I would immediately agree with and welcome her simply because we Canadians are so much more sensible. Instead I asked her if she had $500,000 in cash to set up a small business or a trade we needed in the cold north, like welding or truck driving. When she said no, she was an artist, but she was a great respecter of Canadian values, I told her she likely wouldn’t be accepted. As usual, she was deeply shocked to learn that Canada was apparently not ready to embrace her simply because she knew what the right kind of values were to be holding. Admittedly Canada has taken in Americans (draft dodgers and gays) as refugees fleeing political oppression in the past. Maybe that’s where they get that idea.
The folks at the Trump table were more interesting if just because they were a lot more emphatic. Each one of them had a tale to tell about how government had ruined them, cheated them, or over taxed them. They are angry folks, fed up with the lies of politicians and ready to vote for anyone (even Trump) who is not one of the establishment they feel has been ripping them off and lying to them. They talked about how the deficit was out of control, how political correctness was killing what America was supposed to be about, how the values on which the nation was founded are being threatened, how terrorists and criminals get more respect than hard working Americans, and how no one is taking away their guns. I know someone from up north is going to ask me about their white hoods so I will also note there were a lot more Blacks and Hispanics milling about at the Trump table than any other table so it is not about race. When the Trump supporters marched past the parade podium and were announced to the crowd, the crowd went crazy with their cheers and applause. The cheering was louder than even the cheering for Mrs. Senior Wakulla Country (who was Black) and Miss Wakulla and her princesses (who were mostly White). Not one Trump supporter asked me about moving to Canada although they all wanted to hear about how we manage our health care.
American politics are bewildering to me. My husband, being American, got right into it with great enthusiasm. I hope they let him back into Canada when we get to the border. If Crawfordville, Florida, is any measure, a lot of Democrats will be trying to emigrate to Canada next winter.
And last was the food. Local sausages (which I did not eat since I don’t eat pork), and french fries and deep fried pickles and mounds of collard greens and corn dogs (which I also don’t eat), and trays of deep fried mullet and corn on the cob. I reluctantly bypassed the deep fried everything. I am determined to head north without the extra poundage I usually bring after a winter in the south. I looked about for the mini-doughnut truck, ever present at all Canadian festivals I have ever attended, so I could at least enjoy the heavenly smell. There wasn’t one of those. Americans just don’t do doughnuts the way Canadians do. That is likely just as well. I found some hotcakes to eat and with the new consciousness of calories that seems to be everywhere in the USA today, the calorie count was included in the information about the hotcakes and so I didn’t have seconds. I know I can’t resist seconds when it comes to mini doughnuts. I had no idea how many carb and calories were in a classic fluffy pancake! I don’t want to know how many are in mini doughnuts.
We left the Valentine’s Day Parade and Fair feeling energized and entertained, happy to be privileged to share this fun with the locals. God Bless the USA!