I celebrated the Fourth of July the same way I have for many, many years. You may know that I love my D.C. Palisades neighborhood. It's like living in a small town, but the White House is only a quick 15-minute drive away . . . in non-rush hour traffic, that is.
I could venture down to the Mall and watch the big parade with the big bands and floats. But I prefer our hokey small-town Palisades parade. This is its 47th year; I've lived in the Palisades over 50 years.
MacArthur Boulevard, our main street, is lined with people waiting for the parade to start:
DC Mayor Vincent Gray led off the political contingents.
He was followed by several DC Council Members, each with his or her contingent of supporters. These groups were especially large for members who have already announced that they'll be running for mayor next year. My candidate, councilman-at-large David Catania, has yet to announce.
I didn't get a photo, but the crowd's loudest applause went to Eleanor Holmes Norton, our longtime delegate to Congress. She can't vote, and every year we have several groups in the parade backing statehood for DC or protesting "taxation without representation." And every year Congress ignores our pleas.
Here's Miss District of Columbia, 2013:
And here's Miss District of Columbia for 2025:
Even after watching the parade for more than four decades, I still enjoy it:
Every year, one of the largest contingents in the parade is the Millwood Lane Mob. Millwood Lane is only one block long, but it looks like everybody on the block comes out to march.
Key School, the Palisades' public elementary school, is rated one of the best in the city. The very involved Key School parents will tell you "it is the best."
Years ago when I was married and closeted, I was stunned to see marching down our boulevard the "DC Different Drummers," the city's gay/lesbian band. Gays weren't accepted back then as they are now. But the Palisades enthusiastically welcomed the band, especially since they were the only marching band in the parade. They've returned every year since.
These bagpipers are always enthusiastically greeted by the crowd:
You don't have to be part of an organized group to participate in the parade. RubberAss, for instance, bikes and plays the piano:
Our neighborhood Safeway and gas station participate in the parade. So do these guys, whom I use during my annual efforts to unload some of the junk that's accumulated in the house through the decades.
The parade traditionally ends with the mounted United Horsemen, who today, of course, include horsewomen.
But we 'll wrap up the parade pics with these two shots:
After the parade, we climb back up the hill -- steeper each year -- for air conditioning, chairs, and lunch.