Tulip Festival Parade

After exploring the tulip parks I walked back into downtown Holland, Michigan to see the parade which was scheduled for 2 pm.
For years they have started the parade by an inspection of the streets by City Council. The town crier announces the inspection and the members do a white-glove check. Black marks on the gloves mean the townspeople must clean the streets ahead of the parade. Hundreds of townsfolk of all ages come out dressed in Dutch attire and bring their brooms and buckets. Most of the street cleaners have on wooden shoes. They walk the entire parade in these shoes.
After the streets were clean the parade proceeded. It has been years since I’ve been to a parade. As local parades go this one was pretty good. It took about 45 minutes – about a dozen local bands, 20 or so floats and that many cars with local celebrities. The Governor of Michigan walked at the beginning of the parade (right behind the cops, honor guard and followed by the International Town Criers). My favorite group was the choreographed library precision shelving carts. A local industry, the Chris-Craft boat company had an entry.
The last band was the Holland High School Marching Dutchman Band. They were OUTSTANDING!! Note the banner listing all its awards. They played at the 1986 Presidential Inaugural Parade. They danced as they marched AND did it with wooden shoes. And they actually were playing a tune – not generic marching music. Obviously Holland is very proud of them and rightly so.