The Chelsea fair parade was on Saturday, the last day of the fair. For as long as I can remember I’ve sat with my family and watched the parade go by, but this year…well, this year was just a little bit different. Okay, it was a LOT bit different. Because I was named the citizen of the year, I was invited to ride in the parade. How crazy is that?! THAT’S SO CRAZY.
I planned to take two things with me in the parade:
1: Candy, because anyone who grew up in Chelsea knows candy is an important part of this complete parade, and
2: My cameras, because I had one particular photograph in mind — I’ll let you know which one — and because…well, because that’s why I got to be in the parade in the first place.
(I ended up having my nephew Clayton ride with me, and that turned out to be wise because throwing candy in the Chelsea fair parade is a full-time occupation.)
The helpful people at the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce had called me to let me know where I needed to be and when I needed to be there. I wrote down the details:
At the appointed time, we arrived at the designated spot on East Street to find a lovely red Mustang waiting. (Varsity Ford was kind enough to provide a car and a driver — thank you, Varsity!) Here’s the car:
And here’s the sign on the side so people would know why that random guy was smiling and waving in the parade:
I also discovered my friends the Van Hoeks had made a fun sign for me:
As we were waiting for the parade to begin, Howdy Holmes — the man in charge of the company responsible for Jiffy Mixes — stopped by to say hi. When I mentioned that I was just a tiny bit sad not to be watching the parade because it meant I wouldn’t get a box of Jiffy, he walked to the Jiffy truck waiting on the next block and came back with not one but THREE boxes of Jiffy Mixes!
I know it’s easy to buy Jiffy at the grocery store, but I’ve always enjoyed getting the box from the fair parade. Having Howdy hand-deliver three boxes? It doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks, Howdy!
You may have noticed the odd symbols on my shirt. Those are old shorthand symbols from my grandmother’s Munson Shorthand Dictionary. Not too long ago I made a shirt featuring the Munson symbol for Michigan, and because of that, my friend Sara — a fount of awesomeness — said I should make a shirt with the symbols for “citizen of the year” and wear it in the parade. I wasn’t sure if she was joking, but I couldn’t resist that idea. Here I am with Sara and the shirt she suggested:
As 1:00 drew nigh, Clayton and I climbed into the car and waited for the parade to start. This was our view as we waited:
When we started moving, I thought hey, why I don’t I just take a bunch of pictures down the whole route? So I did. What follows is a sampling of those photos (with a more complete set compiled into a gif at the end of the post).
Here we are on Middle Street:
I was happy to discover who was directly in front of us in the parade: none other than the Monitor Base Ball Club of Chelsea! They were accompanied by a club from Northville — they had a match after the parade.
We continued on Middle…
…and approached Main…
…and turned onto Main.
The next photo is the reason I took my camera with me:
Here we are approaching the old post office:
And then the library:
Just past Summit Street:
At the now-vacant Federal Screw Works property:
It’s still a little strange to see that property without a huge factory building on it.
Just past Lincoln Street:
See those folks off in the distance on the left? I know those people. It has been alleged that I am related to those people.
Those two camera-wielding people on the left are my parents. Here’s a better look:
Here’s the rest of the rowdy crew:
We kept driving south:
We passed Pierce Park:
Somewhere in that crowd on the left are my friends Chris and Aubrey from the fabulous Chelsea Alehouse. They’re very friendly.
When we reached Old US 12…
…we turned right and headed past the Wolverine toward the fairgrounds.
We turned left onto Old Manchester Road and stopped in front of the fairgrounds, and that was the conclusion of my first ride in the Chelsea fair parade.
As promised, here’s an animation of the series of photos I took down the parade route:
I thoroughly enjoyed my ride in the parade. Many thanks to all who had a hand in giving me that opportunity!