This past Saturday I spent the morning in my hometown of Golden, CO watching the Buffalo Bill’s Day Parade. This is an annual event that has been done for more years than I am even aware of. I went all the time in my youth, and now I go ever so often when my friends take their kids and are kind enough to invite me. It’s a lovely way to spend a morning and I enjoyed myself but left with a few thoughts.
First I would like to address parades. When you think about it, they’re kind of a weird concept. Just a bunch of people walking, driving cars, or as Saturday showed, dancing down a street with even more people watching and cheering them on. Just one dude dancing down the street and I’m a considered a weirdo. But a group gets together and suddenly it’s a parade.
With some minimal research it seems parades came about as a way to gather and celebrate something. It gave everyone a chance to easily be a part of the celebration. I can’t find any information on this, but it also seems they came about as a way to get people to come to your thing, whatever it may be, like a one man dance party. I’m referring to traveling circuses that would march through a town to garner interest in the circus. I think Denver still does this with the Stock Show. I mean, why else would you march a bunch of farm animals through the city streets? Parades appear to be a form of advertising, the one form that people don’t complain about (at least for being advertising, for tying up traffic is another story) but actually look forward to.
The Buffalo Bill’s Parade had a lack of marching bands this year. I was disappointed. I only mention this because when I was young my least favorite part of any parade was the marching bands. I think the cymbals were too much for my young ears, or they played songs I didn’t know, which was a lot of songs at the time. Or it was just some other stupid reason that exists when you’re a naïve child. This isn’t cartoons or candy, I’ll be having none of this. But as an adult who understands the complexity and awesomeness of music, these marching bands are the highlight of any parade.
As Macy’s and any city with a decent Irish population can tell you, parades aren’t that weird or uncommon. But as I spoke with some stranger who asked me questions about Buffalo Bill Days, I started thinking about the whole thing. I’ve known about it my whole life, but to an outsider it can seem unusual. It made me think about other towns and if they have any kind of annual event like this. I’m sure they do and think nothing of it.
I know nothing of any such events, but think I would like to and think that I would like to start visiting some. Really take it all in. Find out the history of them and how locals feel about it. I like to travel and really take in as much of a city that I visit, so I think checking out these small local festival things is something that would be great to experience. But why have I never considered this before? If you’re reading this and you come from somewhere other than Golden, CO and your town has a weekend long town wide event I would love to hear about it. Or if you want to know more about Buffalo Bill Days, let’s chat.
As much I love the cities, I should try being a tourist in smaller towns as well.