We love a parade!

How do we celebrate Independence Day? Why, with a parade, of course. But this little gem is no ordinary parade. In the neighboring town of Johnson, Washington (population about 50-100 on a good day), hilarity, innovation, and creativity ensue while some 3,000 people converge on either side of a rural road leading to a huge grain silo, one of the only structures in Johnson. Marchers gather in an open field about 1/4 mile down the road, stroll to the grain elevator, and march back the way they came. Not only do attendees get to enjoy the parade as it passes by, but also when it passes BACK by! johnson-IMG_4007 And what they might see includes a crazy array of kinetic sculpture (including a working Ferris wheel), johnson-IMG_4042 a fire truck and firemen with large water guns who spray delighted youngsters with water, a flock of grown-up girls parading as pink flamingoes, the motley crew of the Moscow Volunteer Peace Band (think feather boas and tie-dye), bagpipers, soldiers, politicians, classic cars, a train made from recycled materials, and even farm equipment, both adorned and unadorned (a farmer loves to show off equipment). johnson-IMG_4071 The year Michael Jackson died, a group of college girls dressed up in paint masks and single sparkly gloves and danced their way down the road and back. You’ll even see a little car that splits in half, each part driving independent of its other half. The parade was organized on a whim more than 40 years ago by a local farm family, the Druffels. Each parade is loosely organized around a theme; last year’s was Star Wars. Druffel patriarch, 93-year-old John, said he hadn’t heard of Star Wars, but he good-naturedly joined the fun, parading with a lightsaber dressed as Luke Skywalker. johnson-IMG_4036 John passed away earlier this year, but on July 4th, his large family (over 70 members to date) will join with thousands of participants from nearby communities to honor this fun-loving farmer.

  1. Debbie Fischer says:

    Oh what fun this parade looks like. There is nothing in the world as good as a small town parade I don’t think.
    Happy 4th to all of you at the farm, have a fun and happy weekend with family.


  2. Karlyne says:

    Awww, this is Americana at its best!

  3. Karlyne says:

    Are you planning on a 4th of July … “party” this year? I’m looking 6 months forward to sunshine.

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