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Christmas Parade ’06
Posted by: Dale Franks on Saturday, December 09, 2006

Today was the 56th Annual Jaycees Parade in my little hometown. So, the Lovely Christine and I got up early to go photograph the parade.

Before we get to the pictures, let me just say this. Worst. Parade. Ever. Whoever was in charge of organizing this year's travesty should be put in a bamboo cage a poked with sharp sticks. There were, at times, up to two city blocks of space between the participants. So some little group of cub scouts would march by, then we'd have to stand around for 20 minutes until the local Polish-American Social Club marched by. What should've been a 1 hour parade had gone on for two hours, with no end in site, when we decided to leave, and go about the other business that was on the day's schedule. Still a couple of things caught my eye during the parade.

Prior to the start of the parade, one of the city motorcycle cops was giving away photo opes to kids. This cute little guy just thought the officer and his BMW bike was the cat's pajamas.

As part of the auxiliary of the Sherrif's Department, we have the Escondido Mounted Patrol. Essentially, it's a bunch of retired people with six-shooters and horses, who volunteer to work with the sherrif's department, kind of like a geriatric posse.

This is the mayor of Escondido, Lori Holt Pfeiler (R).

This is a band member from a local high school. The band is known as the Trojan Brigade (Insert obligatory condom joke here). Nice hats. I wasn't previously aware that ancient Troy utilized a highland tartan as part of their regalia.

The local firefighters also took part, of course. Now, it's not unusual to see a fireman or cop sporting some manly facial hair. You can, however, have too much of a good thing.

The Knights of Columbus marched in full regalia of 18th century admirals' hats and high-collared tuxedos. Note the impressive decorations on this brave knight. I believe the decorations, in order of precedence, are The Lutheran-Taunting Campaign Medal, the Distinguished Anti-Protestant Service Medal, and the Order of Saint Pooky.

I may be wrong about that, though.

Hmmm. Note to hollywood producers: No matter what the actor is wearing, simply add a bedsheet and duct tape and, Presto! Instant ancient middle east costume! See, you really can do practically anything with duct tape.

Obviously, this young fellow hasn't fully grasped the art of horse riding. I mean, the entire point of riding a horse is so that you can sit down while traveling.

Finally, it just isn't a parade if there's no participation by fezzed Shriners in tiny automobiles. Oh, and remember, Shriners are high-level freemasons. Freemasons, of course, are the secret society that actually runs every portion of our government and economy. Behold, our benevolent overlords! Oh, sure, they don't look like the secret elite of our country, but, that just shows how fiendishly clever they truly are.

So, now you know how my little town kicked off the spirit of the season this year.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Obviously, this young fellow hasn’t fully grasped the art of horse riding. I mean, the entire point of riding a horse is so that you can sit down while traveling.
He’s coming! And he’s standing in the saddle!

Sorry, couldn’t resist the movie flashback.
Written By: steverino
LOL! Nice pics, looks like you had a great time. Man, that kid is lucky I would have killed at his age to sit on the bike, horse, or in the tiny car! ;-)
Written By: John
Oh. Those are Shriners. At first, since you are in California, I thought it was some car company rolling out their new CAFE standard compliant automobiles.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Dear Mr. Franks,

It’s unfortunate that you didn’t enjoy the Escondido Jaycees Christmas Parade this year. Maybe a hometown parade is just not your cup of tea. However, before you bash everyone associated with the parade, allow me to educate you about the parade.

This is a parade totally produced by volunteers, not paid professionals. The Escondido Jaycees is a very small organization of community minded volunteers. There is no entry fee and all entrants are welcomed. Quite different from the Rose Parade. That is the reason that there is such a diverse group of entries and that is also the reason that there isn’t a lot of money for logistics and support.

The bands earn points for their performances to work toward going to the Rose Parade and other national events. When they are being judged we have no control over the speed or the gaps. That is handled by the judges.

When Brownie Troop XYZ or a Hip Hop group from the local high school stops for a performance, it naturally creates a gap. Some of these amateur performers stay even longer and it is difficult to get them to move on. The Rose Parade won’t allow this; our home town parade feels that the small gaps are worth letting our kids have a great experience at the parade. And we don’t have the volunteers to keep the stragglers moving along the parade route. If this sort of thing bothers you, I would suggest that you sleep in on the morning of the parade and watch it on television where there aren’t any gaps. Or you can watch the parade near the tv cameras where there aren’t big gaps. No matter what we try to do to minimize the gaps, they will always be there, especially toward the last half of the parade route.

If you want to see a professional parade (without local church and school groups, cub scouts and brownies), you can drive two hours to the Rose Parade on New Years Day. I’ve been there many times, and I have to tell you, they have big gaps there as well. Everything is keyed toward the television production so there aren’t any apparent gaps. Let me assure you that, along the parade route in Pasadena, there are gaps! If you watched the Jaycees Parade on Cox Cable, you would see that there aren’t big gaps in that production video, just as the professional parades.

It’s obvious from your tone that you don’t enjoy "little group(s) of cub scouts" or "the local Polish-American Social Club". Sorry Mr. Franks, that’s what this little local parade is about. It’s about allowing kids (and others), who maybe have never been in a parade, get experience for the bigger parades and have a fun time. And we got a lot of positive comments from the thousands that were along the parade route. You didn’t spend your gas money and get up in the middle of the night to drive up to LA to see it. It was free. Enjoy it for what it is or choose to spend your day differently.

So before you want to start poking people with sharp sticks (such a kind, compassionate jesture from you for the people who volunteer their time), I hope you will understand what kind of a parade this really is. You are always welcomed to volunteer to help make the parade better. As you know, it is always easier to sit back and type criticism than it is to spend your time helping members of the community enjoy their Christmas Parade.

That’s how your "little town" puts on a big parade. Sorry if it wasn’t up to your "big city" standards. But, then again, there’s a reason that we moved here from the City. Right?
Written By: Larry Michel
URL: http://
Just like Christmas, a lot of the joy of love is found in the giving.
Written By: Lamar Cole
URL: http://

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