Thursday, August 13, 2015

Annual Neighborhood Parade

We've lived in our house for four years now, and I'm still struggling to find "my people" in our neighborhood community. Andi and I were drawn to the more established residences of our particular Twin Cities suburb, with its mature trees and big backyards, but what we didn't realize when buying our home is that very few families with young children follow suit. Most of the neighbors on our street are original home owners (aka: older people) who's children have long since moved away from home. I suppose we do have a network of neighborhood friends at our lake cabin, but it'd be lovely to have that same support system here at home, too.

Anyway, there are families with young children in the greater vicinity of our neighborhood, so I always make an effort to strike up conversations with fellow parents I see at the nearby park and to be an active participant in our neighborhood mom's group. There aren't many of us -- maybe five or six mothers who attend the group's monthly meetings? -- but it's something. No one I really hit it off with just yet, but I keep trying!

Every August, the mom's group plans a kids parade for our neighborhood. This is the 29th year of the parade! We print and distribute flyers to 600 houses in the area, and encourage families to take part by decorating their bikes and walking in the parade together. We invite the local police and fire departments, and have an ice cream truck meet everyone at the park afterwards for refreshments. It's a fun and simple way for the neighborhood to get together.

Andi was suppose to be traveling for work on the night of the parade this year, so I invited Janie (Andi's mom) to join the kids and I in attending. I took them last year by myself so I could've done it again, but it's more fun (and easier with crazy Aden!) to have company. At the last minute, Andi came home earlier than expected so he was able to join us, too!

Last year Tory dressed up like a princess and I decorated our Radio Flyer wagon to look like a carriage, but this year I never made it happen. So, Tory decided to roller skate in the parade, and Aden drove his blue car.

The kid's parade route is a four-block square, so it takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. Easy-peasy for older kids on bikes or adults pushing strollers. Tory is a very new on skates, however, so we moved along at a snail's pace and quickly fell to the end of the pack. No problem - we weren't in a rush! I could've pelted the elderly neighbor on the parade route who yelled to Tory from her drive-way, "You have to skate, not walk in 'em!" Give her a break, lady. She's three. 

I, for one, thought Tory was adorable.

Since we fell so far behind the pack, we let Aden out of his toy car. All this boy wants to do these days is RUN! Remember when he wasn't walking less than three months ago? He's more than making up for it now. 

Eventually, we made our way back to the the playground with the rest of the neighborhood. Tory and Aden took turns climbing around in the police car and the fire truck. We talked with a few neighbors and then made our way home. 

Great little evening with our neighborhood. I haven't found our perfect neighbors just yet, but I'll keep trying ....


  1. I think I remember that from last year! Maybe. Such a cute idea though. I love the skating idea.

  2. We also live in an old neighborhood and it is kind of a bummer coming from a place where we were really close with our neighbors (and still are!) - our street is just starting to turn over though, so I am hopeful that more families with kids move in as the old folks move out!

  3. If you want to connect with moms in your area search for your nearest moms club group! I think it's just and you put in your zip. Been such a blessing for me with a husband who travels. Fun moms night outs, play dates, coffee breaks etc!

  4. Tory looks adorable in her skates and I LOVE Aden's car! We have the opposite problem in our neighborhood - although it is great it can be a challenge too!! We can easily spend a whole evening outside socializing because everyone congregates and we can't peel our kids (or ourselves) away. There is probably a dozen+ plus kids on a ten house radius ranging from 0-5. Not a bad problem, but it is if you have a task to complete as simple as mowing the lawn or carrying in groceries it is usually a whole night thing as you have to greet the neighbors and throw back a couple of beverages.