Here in Milwaukee the holiday season officially began a week ago with the "tree" lighting ceremony (more on that puppy later). This past Saturday was the 83rd Annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade.
At 9:30 AM.
Due to our highly effective sleeping schedule, Jon and I were wide awake and had already been out doing errands by 8:30 AM. Of course we'd like to start our Saturday with a delightful parade and balloons!
Fun fact: Marching bands are huge here (UW Madison's is nationally famous - I was exhausted just watching their fancy kicks). We probably saw at least 8 high school/middle school bands during the parade - let's be real, those kids were sleepwalking at that hour.
That center photo is from a middle school band. I am fairly sure she could fit in her saxophone case.
And/or that is the most lifelike blow-up instrument I have ever seen.
The Sheriff's and police departments also got in on the mix with their horses. I love horses. Love them. Jon and I plan to have a horse farm when we are older.
No, he does not know that yet.
The horses were followed by a street cleaner. Considering the amount of foot traffic on the roads and the teenage propensity for morning rage, I feel this was a smart call.
It wouldn't be Milwaukee without beer, brats and Harley bikes.
Actually, the hombre up top was drinking 7 and 7, though PBR's were in attendance, as well. Please note the 8 foot wooden handle on the world's largest grill. Genius.
Meet Mayor Tom Barrett. Hah!
So what if I tell people we're related? And that injured hand - that's from when Mayor Barrett tried to protect a woman from her daughter's abusive boyfriend. He was beating her up with a pipe in a parking lot at Summerfest. Intense. He probably doesn't even need that brace anymore, but I'd totally wear it for sympathy, too. This was a work event.
The Milwaukee Mascots had to make a showing - good 'ole Bernie the Brewer and his friends the "Racing Sausages": Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Italian Sausage, Hot Dog and Chorizo. Please meet Hot Dog, Italian Sausage, and Bratwurst. Polish Sausage was crafty and ran away before I could get a good shot. Chorizo gave me the backside. Rude.
Italian Sausage got pretty spicy with his fluttering hand moves, running around in circles like Mario and Luigi. It has been said "he enjoys the aura of excitement given off by the crowd . . . [and that] someone of his caliber and popularity is sure to pump up the fans." Mission accomplished!
But my very favorite part of the parade were the dogs, dressed in their holiday finery, and of course, Milwaukee's Dancing Grannies.
That poor animal in the Santa Claus suit. I'm pretty sure he's mouthing the words I will kill you all to the larger, less embarassed dogs. Jon and I both agreed we could picture our friend Jessie doing this to Mabel, her "spirited" Yorkshire Terrier.
What's that gentleman doing? Only hand-feeding candy to each of the dancing grannies. All but one, who shook her head no and turned away to make the sign of the cross.
That's got to be the highlight of his holiday season.
It truly was a delightful morning.
P.S. That S.C. dog is on the verge. If I were it's owner, I'd be sleeping with one eye open.