Today was the 55th annual Jaycees Christmas Parade in the town of Escondido, California, where I live. Naturally, I was there to take pictures...
These are some of the kids from the EHS STEP program. I'm not sure what the STEP program is, but I think it's a deal for troubled youths. If so, I'm a little dubious about the ultimate success of a program that dresses kids up in military camouflage fatigues, and teaches them how to skillfully wield wooden batons. Seems to me like there are more useful, less...uh...aggressive skill sets that you might want to inculcate into troubled youths.
What's the point of torturing tiny little horses by making them tow larger, heavier humans in wooden and iron coaches. I mean, you wouldn't hook up a coach and four with rottweilers, would you?
Every drill team and baton twirling group in North County was represented at the parade, including this Drill Team from Vista, CA. As you can see from the picture, they aren't actually a precision drill team.
These are the representatives of the San Diego Chinese New Year celebration. All the girls were fine, but this guy...well, his relationship with China looks a bit tangential.
She looks really pleased to be taking part in the parade, doesn't she?
This little guy could work magic with that rope. He was part of the local Caballeros. Or Vaqueros. I know that Central/South American cowboys are called one of those two things.
Here's another little caballero. Or vaquero. Or whatever. I just know that he makes a cute picture.
There's a thin line between a toothy, happy smile and the strained grimace of a tired little girl who's wishing she'd never picked up a damn baton in the first place.
Sergeant Blevis, an Army recruiter, shows off the new Army camouflage uniform. That makes it official, by the way. We now have completely different camouflage uniforms for every branch of the US military. One also notes that Sergeant Blevis appears to have been issued with a little extra girth and a few more chins than your average army recruiter.
When you're going to represent your cool low-rider club publicly to the citizens of your fair city, you may want to do a quick run-through of the maintenance checklist the day before the parade. Just a suggestion.
The North County Scots Association was represented, with everyone in authentic kilt and sporran. The Santa hat is an understandable anachronism. Being of Scots extraction myself, I have been known to don a plaid skirt and knee-high socks myself. Let's face it, you have to be a real man to be willing to dress up like a Catholic Schoolgirl in public.
Or trolling for sailors.
It's probably because of my background of 10 years in Law Enforcement, dealing with your scumbags and pervs, but still, I gotta say, dressing up children like delightful little gifts to be opened probably isn't the best way to escape the attention of pedophiles.
This is the Escondido Polish-American Social Club. All five of 'em. And, unlike the Scots, only two of them could be bothered to dress in traditional costumes. That's a pretty sad display of ethnic pride, if you ask me. Also, I wasn't previously aware that Sioux tomahawk was part of the traditional Polish accouterments.
Note to Scoutmaster Bob: Painting an old broom handle yellow and gluing a BSA logo to it does not actually constitute making a "traditional frontier walking stick". Good Lord, man, you're supposed to be a role model. At least make an effort.
I love the color and motion of the traditional Mexican dance costumes. The addition of the ancient Mayan gafas de sol1 are a nice touch.
I appreciate the courage it takes to parade your Jenna Jameson blow-up doll in public by sitting her on your lap as you drive a parade float tractor through the middle of downtown. Don't be ashamed of who you are.
Now, here's one for the ladies. A manly, sharply uniformed, motorcycle patrol officer, sitting astride his iron steed; his thighs rippling in the tight blue uniform pants; his firm, pert buttocks perched on the soft leather seat. And look at that pistol he's got strapped to that butch gunbelt. My, it's a big one, isn't it?
Well, I think that gives you a little taste of what the Christmas parade is like in my sleepy little California town.
Are the police too threatening? Perhaps too...forceful? Well, there's always firemen. All the danger and macho you could possibly want, packed into their trim, muscled torsos, yet the sensitivity of a strong man who's mission is to save others. Aren't they just dreamy?
Uh, I mean, don't you ladies think they're dreamy?