Family fun continued today, after a beautiful wedding celebration last night for my daughter Adriel and new son-in-law Nate. Early this morning a group of us gathered on the square in historic Carthage, MO for the 50th annual Maple Leaf Parade.
On this unseasonably warm morning, I waited for the parade to begin with Greg, my sister Debbie, niece Ashley and her husband Jon and sons Ethan and Kaleb, my daughter-in-law Megan and granddaughter Aubrey, and my daughter Elissa and her husband Josh. We made a merry group!
Leading the parade was my son Nate, with the police honor guard. This year, Nate carried the American flag. Standing tall and at attention, Nate made eye contact and gave me a small smile as I snapped a pic. We cheered as the parade got under way. Grandsons Joey, Oliver and Dayan were all participants this year in the parade. We settled in to enjoy the morning and watch for the boys.
There were elephants in the parade, from the Tarzan Zerbini Circus. They winter in Carthage.
Josh picked up a box of Hurt’s Donuts to share. These colorful dessert type donuts, known for their outlandish toppings, are the creations of a Springfield based store that is growing rapidly and expanding its franchise. Hurt’s will be opening a Joplin shop soon.
I said “no thank you” to a donut. But Kaleb said a big yes! He snagged the Cookie Monster donut because blue is his favorite color.
The kids scored big at the parade, collecting candy, pens and pencils, bead necklaces and coupons and advertisements of all kinds.
The Tiger Football floats rolled past. Joey was seated on the opposite side of the float but his teammates got his attention and he waved to us. I captured the moment by snapping a pic of his arm as he waved.
Oliver sat facing us on his float. We waved and clapped, as he smiled and darted his eyes toward his mom. He played it cool, but those big eyes shone.
Joey’s arm and the bill of his ball cap!
Oliver and his charming smile.
We enjoyed more floats and bands, and then the Carl Junction Marching Bulldogs appeared at the end of the block. The band, one of the largest there, looked and sounded great! They played Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones and wowed the crowd. Apparently they wowed the judges as well. The band took first place in their division.
The Maple Leaf hosts a marching band competition after the parade, drawing participants from a wide region. The Bulldogs took third place overall today, a great accomplishment and a fantastic end to their marching season and Dayan’s time in band.
Dayan, on the far right.
Tonight I completed a day of family fun by attending Oliver’s final football game of the season, his Superbowl, held in Joplin. As a third grader, this was Ollie’s first year to play Tiger football.
Greg and I watched, proud Papa and Yaya, as this boy moved with confidence on the field, playing on the defensive team. He assisted in several awesome tackles. What a change in the team, during one season of play. I was impressed with their skill level, acquired in such a short time.
Oliver and the 3rd grade Tiger team won their superbowl game, 14-12. It was a great, close game, well played, and the win was well deserved. We got to visit with Joey during the game. Papa gifted him with money for an after game snack.
As the clock ran out and victory was assured, we moved down onto the field to congratulate Oliver, get a hug, and slip him cash for his snack. And we took a selfie, of course.
What a fun day, another to add to the weekend’s cherished moments. I wouldn’t trade this journey, full of these incredible moments spent with family and friends, for anything.