Rain Couldn’t Stop the Terrific Ninth Annual Walnut Creek Neighborhood Fourth of July Parade and Potluck Picnic!
When Kay and Joel Klumpp first invited neighbors to join them in a parade around the “peninsula” followed by a potluck picnic in their yard ten years ago, it started an annual event, with them providing most of the effort involved. With a new organizational approach this year the event went quite smoothly with (we hope) somewhat less stress on the Klumpps.
Our neighbor bagpiper Philip Bates – for the fourth successive parade – led what likely was a record number of participants with the usual diversity of ages, colors, sexes, affluence, and political opinions. Evidently, though, one attribute most of us seemed to lack is an ability to march. Would be hard to find a more rag-tag bunch following Philip as he strode along the parade route loop around the peninsula (formed by north Indianhead, east Caddo and north Oakwood). Periodically he had to pause or slow down to keep us from stretching all the way around.
The “potluck” food is always amazing at this event. Along with the Klumpp’s hot dogs and the sensational “regular” fare of casseroles and such, vegetarian and vegan dishes were presented, including some in that modern category “Gluten Free” (like the home brew brought by Todd Johnson – a “Tropical IPA” made using tropical fruits and sorghum molasses: strong and tasty!).
This year a group worked together to help with organization and promotion: Sara Breuer, Kay Klumpp, Adrienne Alter, Eric Shaughnessy, and friends and relations. Additional volunteers helped in setting up tables, tents, lawn furniture, water (for the always-numerous dogs), etc,, etc. Joel took over the “dog (hot variety) preparation” that his dad, who passed away last year, had done since the first parade. And Tim and Sara ((Mateer/Breuer) took over the dog-serving duties which his mother always participated in. There also were servers for all the food categories, which helped the process run smoothly. And there were too many fantastic deserts even for this record crowd.
And – thanks, Sara – we got nametags! No more stressing brains trying to remember!
As usual, Philip tried to start the procession by firing up his bagpipes, and as usual people randomly joined the parade when they saw they were getting left behind. With bicycles, strollers, canes, and a few tired and/or sore legs we scattered along Indianhead as we proceeded uphill (south) on Indianhead from the Klumpp home before turning down the hill on Caddo. There were more spectators along the way than in the past, probably thanks to the advertising, and this helped to rejuvenate those tired legs. Another new aspect this year was Eric running to stay near the front in order to take some terrific pictures along the way, showing both the participants and the spectators.
Future parades look to be better and better with the collaborative approach adopted this year. So keep your eyes out next June for the many notices like you saw this year: Signs at street intersections, events in the social media, invitation and description in this Newsletter and other forms of communication, and make a plan to join us for the camaraderie, fun, food and exercise. The parade was inspired partly because of the handy route provided by the peninsula, which is about 0.6 miles, walkable by most of us even in the near-100-degree temperature we can have at this time of year. But you don’t have to “do the walk” to have the fun!