2013 and this is my third time in America in three years. Coincidentally, it’s my third week and I have three weeks left of my vacation in this amazing country. That’s a whole lot of threes. Today I saw the Litchfield Watercade Parade for the third time. Now, Litchfield Watercade is fifty-seven years old. That kind of puts an end to my lucky run of threes. Two nights ago we went to Lake Ripley to watch the fireworks. It’s a beautiful lake and the Litchfield Watercade really knows how to decorate the skies above it with an absolutely wonderful firework display.
The park was alive with people, all cheerful and full of anticipation. There were side stands selling cotton candy, corn dogs and kettle corn and there were amusements rides for the children. And for me, there was beer.
At around ten o’clock the firework display began. As amazing as it was, I think what I like the most is that sense of patriotism. The National Anthem played, people cheered and throughout the display, songs about America were sung. Now, coming from Europe where people sadly tend to refrain from flying flags and singing national anthems, I really found it all very refreshing. America is a great country and has an awful lot to be proud of. The Star Spangled Banner is hardly the National Anthem of this small-town, English boy, but not only could I relate, I also burned with the same pride as the people around me.
Yesterday we sat down under an evening sun to watch the Litchfield Watercade Parade. Now at the risk of coming off as a sleazy tourist information guide, I have to tell you, it’s a parade to watch. We took deckchairs along with us, something nice to eat and to drink. Can you guess what I drank? People lined the streets and prepared themselves for a two-hour long parade with marching bands, a motorbike show, cowboy theme acts and trucks after truck of beautifully designed, fun things to see. It’s difficult to comprehend just how much work goes into such an event or for that matter, the amount of money it must have cost. I particularly enjoyed watching the World War ll Veterans. These brave men and women fought so hard to give us the freedoms we take for granted today. It was an honor to see them, to stand and to applaud them as they passed by.
I think what I enjoyed the most though was the friendly atmosphere, seeing the bright and smiling faces, the children with their little bags, running after candy showers that people in the parade tossed out at them. Litchfield is small-town America, a little town in a vast and spectacular country, a country that I have learned to love so dearly.
God bless America