Mandan News

Independence Day at Lake Tschida

Layout 1 (Page 1)By the time you read this you should be in the midst of celebrating your independence. Having written this last week I, on the other hand, am still trying to figure out what I’m going to do over the Fourth.

As you may or may not know, we Tschidaites have established an annual Fourth of July parade out here. From what I recall this will be our third year and so far the Mandan Rodeo Parade really doesn’t have much to worry about… but this could be the year that we turn that around. Then again, maybe not.

Last year we had miniature horses, numerous riding lawnmowers, golf carts, tractors, and Nevaeh won first place because she dressed up at as the Statue of liberty and everyone felt sorry for her dad because he had to make three trips to town with his credit card to complete the outfit.

There was a great crowd on hand; musta been at least 30 to 40 spectators, so it was the first year the spectators outnumbered the parade participants. The first year there were two lawn mowers, an ATV all led by a fella singing “Proud to be an American.” And from what I recall the spectators consisted of Clair, Pam, Emily, Avery, and me, so the crowd at least equaled the parade in size.

So this year will be interesting as word around the lake is that this could be the big one. We know of one neighbor that thinks he’s hidden a real parade float in his garage (not much gets by the neighbors out here) and we’ve heard that a Kazoo Band has been practicing in a shed over the hill, as well there’s rumors of an antique car and miniature horses and who knows.

There’s a slight patter running through the neighborhood, everyone’s asking everyone else what they are going to do for the parade, but most folk’s responses have been vague at best. Yet you can sense that the parade participants are spending some time on their entry… and I’m no different.

Last year I bought a raft of American flags and it took me an afternoon to decorate our golf cart. This year I must admit I’m at a loss so far. I’ve been thinking, and both my loyal readers will tell ya that’s not an easy thing for me to do…

First I thought I’d hook up this new trailer to my golf cart and fill it with water. Then I’d have the grandkids ride in the trailer with those water cannons. They could spray the crowd as we passed by… but I’m not sure how many spectators would see the humor in that, so I’m a bit reluctant to follow through on that one.

Then I figured, “Ah, just do what you did last year, no one will know the difference and besides, you still have all those flags.” But alas, that’s not very creative and someone might chastise my lack of ingenuity.

So here I am wondering how I’m going to express my independence and no ideas have locked in. Thus I’m thinking that maybe I’ll just put on a Speedo and hang a sign around my neck that says, “I’m an American and free to walk in a parade looking like this.”

After all, that’s what independence is all about isn’t it? You be you and I’ll be me and we’ll respect each other’s right to do just that. So after I ask my wife if it’s okay to just be me in the parade I’ll let you know how it came out…

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the independence of being whomever you are too…