Sunday, August 3, 2008

Judging the Bosque Farms Parade

First we were hipsters, now we're just hicks.

Jon and I were persuaded to judge the 61st Annual Bosque Farms parade, which runs just in front of our house each year. This was our first year watching it, and our realtor, a Bosque Farms Fair organizer, talked us into judging for prizes. We were reluctant at first, but we really enjoyed being involved.

Our realtor also roped in a couple of other newcomers to the neighborhood, so we made some new friends, Jeff and Jordan. Jeff spoke at the Village Council meeting a few weeks ago against the proposed zone change to allow a franchise assisted living facility to be developed on one of the beautiful farms in our neighborhood--when commercially zoned property is already available just a few lots away. He was the self-professed youngest guy in the room at the Village meeting, and he spoke persuasively and eloquently. We were happy to have the chance to meet him and his wife Jordan as fellow parade judges.

We forced our friend Karen to judge as well, as she was visiting from Georgia for the weekend. Poor Karen had no idea she'd be put to work during her stay (and neither did we), but she seemed to enjoy the parade. Our friends and neighbors Jerry and Karen also stopped by to heckle us. It was a breakfast party bonanza!

The best part about judging was the bribes. One of our neighbors showed up in the morning with a bag of tortilla chips and samples of her salsa and guacamole that she entered into the chile contest later that day, along with a homemade "Judges" sign (with an unintentionally backwards "J")made by her kids, who were in the parade. She wanted to make sure we voted for them in the Best Motorized Float category. The salsa was delicious....

Possibly the toughest category for us to judge was "Best Tractor". Our realtor warned us that the good ol' boys take this category very seriously, so we had to use our absolute best judgment. It was tough since at first glance they were all just green John Deere tractors, but as we looked more closely, each one exhibited its own utility and grace. We unanimously voted for the tractor performing a service by keeping its scooper lowered and picking up after the horses in the parade, although I really liked the old antique tractor.

We wrapped up the afternoon by attending the fair at the rodeo grounds down the street, marvelling at the enormous vegetables and handy crafts people entered for prizes. We also watched the Bosque Farms Fair Queen contest, where 12-16 year old girls handled their horses better than we could ever hope to drive a car. I missed the ladies' rolling pin throwing contest, but promised my realtor's husband that he could coach my throwing arm for next year.

It was a great taste of Village culture, and it was nice to be part of such a tight-knit community. Apparently the fair and parade are a huge deal in these parts, and we feel honored to have been a part of them.

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