Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sewanee 4th of July: Small Town Dog Show & Parade

So my father's house in Sewanee is not far from the town's central artery, which is pretty much 'Main Street' with a different name. Each July 4th the town's parade is along this road. A few hours before the parade there are a few other Independence Day events that I like to check out. Well, mainly the Mutt Show. There's a cat show, but that seems far less fun. Because of our proximity to the main drag, Dad thought it would be nice to invite folks to our place pre-parade for beverages and snacks. I volunteered to make a few different things, so on the day itself I woke up relatively early to get some of the heavy lifting on that front completed while still allowing myself the necessary time to go take a good luck at the mutts. There are a number of different categories for this event, which include prizes for best dressed dog, best matching dog and owner, smallest dog and largest dog, and there's a trick category too. I stayed for the majority of these categories but time ran out before the tricks. Here are photos proving as much. The basic structure was that each owner and dog would take one turn around a small circle, which was lined on all sides with folks of all ages. Certain patches of the circle featured congregations of kids on their knees, leaning over the largely ceremonial and entirely miniscule wall separating the audience from the contestants, reaching for each and every dog that walked by. I should note that at 10 AM it was easily over 80 degrees and wasn't really going to do anything other than get hotter throughout the day. Here, a dog was just done with the whole walking in a circle thing.
I believe this was one of the best dressed contestants.
And another. There were a lot of blonde little girls.
I think this is a dude with whom my father plays poker. He was one of the panel of three judges.
The MC for this event was my cousin E. When the judges were deliberating over the winners for each category E. would pick a member from the audience to answer a trivia question. This kid was levitating with excitement, but ultimately got the question wrong. I believe it was: true or false, dogs have sweat glands in their paws?
That really tall dude in the back? I don't know him. But he is the quitessentially dressed and coiffed young man you'll see around Sewanee, both when the University is in session and even when it's not. I spent a portion of many of my childhood summers in Sewanee and have a strange secret appreciation for this overly preppy Republican look. But whenever I have actually spoken to the majority of dudes like this, I realize it's all looks. That will be my greatest generalization of this post...I think.
This dog had 'firecrackers' coming out of its ears.
Picking her next trivia victim, I think.
This was one of the contestants in the smallest dog category.
The judges, taking notes.
I may be wrong, but I think these girls a) won first place in the little dog category and b)that they had eye make up and perhaps other make up on. Or their faces were just flawless. I'm the sort of person who would almost prefer to wonder what the hell their mother (or grandmother) was thinking than that they just had these faces all on their own.

This was for the look alike category. I'm not sure if they were going for a particular costume per se or just matching.
T. is a pretty long-time member of the Sewanee community. She suffered a stroke a few years back, which from what I understand was pretty dire. But she rebounded better than some might have thought and was certainly properly done up for her turn in the circle, complete with tinseled parasol and streaked blue hair.
I believe she and her dog, of whom I never actually got a good photograph, won first prize. Well deserved. Especially considering how many people competing seemed to have few actual ties to the town. I guess Sewanee's relatively timeless 4th festivities were written up in a magazine or two, so there definitely people who were in town on a kind of 'tourist basis.' While I have a fair amount of historical connection to the town, it's not like I grew up in town, attending the schools or making friends with the locals. So when a woman standing next to me asked questions about the town with the assumption I was a local (fostered in part by the fact that I was able to say hello to someone else in the crowd), I felt pretty good about the fact that I was actually able to respond to her questions from a place of knowledge. I'll never be a townie, but I don't think you could call me a tourist either.
This little guy had a patriotic bow tie.
Matching shin splints, of course.
This was a pretty minimalist dress the same effort. The dog was all white. The boy wore all white. I believe this is the grandson of A. and Z. but I may have misunderstood that.
For the largest dog category there was only one entrant. So she necessarily won. Of course I was quite pleased for her given my long-held coveting of such a creature. Great Danes, one day I might have one of you. One day.
Her glory lap.

And then I left and went back to the home front to finish up on the various dishes while Dad did a fair amount of sorting, organizing and cleaning. Here, the dip.
Here the spicy slaw with green apples.
Here the bean salad. These three things have definitely become my go-to dishes for summer shindigs.
Dad made gazpacho.
And J. helped grill hot dogs.
I put some skewers into the mix.
And then it was off to the parade, which is a mish mash of folks advertising things, folks showing off their old cars, not all that impressive beauty queens, folks declaring their political preferences, and an assortment of other things.
This was probably the most subversive of cars with a bunch of kids apparently in drag. I have no idea what they were selling or who they were representing.
No small town in the south would be complete without the token hippie couple on a tandem bike.

This old car broke down pretty much as it passed us. You can see that a few people are pushing it to the side of the road.
The Sewanee Kazoos: an actual thing.
No idea exactly what these two were about, but I'm glad they brought their cooler.

The one stop light in all of Sewanee.
No idea.
Seems like she's doing a hard sell for America.

I've always enjoyed this final golf cart that definitively lets you know that there is no more parade for you to see.
The end of the end.

1 comment:

Marks Dorcel said...

This small town dog show is very nice. i have watch each and every picture which you have posted and its very interesting for me.