It has always been a tradition in my family to spend Independence Day with my grandparents and other relatives in Springerville, Arizona. Springerville is a small town in the White Mountains of the state and it is where my mom was born and raised. It is joined with the town of Eagar and together they make up what is called Round Valley, a beautiful place that holds lots of wonderful childhood memories for me (and it is also twenty degrees cooler than Phoenix).
I hadn’t been up to Springerville for a few years, though it is only a 4 hour drive away, so my cousin N and I decided to tootle up last Tuesday morning to spend the holiday in the cooler weather. One of my favorite parts of Independence Day in Round Valley is watching the annual parade that runs through the center of both towns. I’ve loved it since I was little. The parade has had its ups and downs over the years and I’ve heard my family bemoan the declining quality of the floats, but the basic elements of a great parade remain intact to this day. These are the essential components that are always present in a great Round Valley parade:
The anticipation before the parade gets to your part of the street
Members of the sheriff’s department on their horses
A Rodeo queen
A Live band
Macho trucks advertising local establishments
Amazing homemade floats
And an opportunity for kids to get wet.
A bonus: If you need a break from the non-stop parade action you can turn around and see this
It was lovely to spend time watching the familiar pattern of the Independence Day parade with my family and reliving the marvelous traditions of my childhood. What are some of your favorite family traditions?