This weekend was Richmond's annual Black and White Days. And it is a weekend that I look forward to ever since I moved to Richmond years and years ago. We just got back from the parade.
Let me first give you a little history of what Black and White Days are and why it has a special meaning to me.
The very first Holstein (cows for those that don't know) show in Richmond was held in 1912. Local dairymen drove their best Holsteins into town and they were judged by a panel judges and they picked out the best cattle. A short break in 1913-14 was due to a national emergency caused by hoof-and-mouth disease. By 1915, though, the disease had been stopped and the show resumed. Since then, the show has continued uninterrupted. As the cattle show and sale continued to grow, other events were added to the celebration. Carnival rides, food vendors, footraces, and a parade were incorporated. The Saturday evening horse pull now caps the week-long event.
Every year the parade would go right past my house and I have only missed a few parades in the last 22 years. In fact, I think I only missed a couple when I was living in New York. And the parade itself is not what made it fun. It was fun seeing neighbors and family. And as the years have passed on, seeing those old neighbors and family members make it much more special. Sometimes that might be the only time I get to see them.
The parade usually attracts a lot of older cars. Our neighbor's, the Derr's always have a car to show.
One year my Uncle Kurt was in charge of putting the parade together. He asked for my help and I assisted him in painting lines and numbers at the beginning of the parade route so every float and participant knew where to line up. I had a date that evening and she was in the parade. She was one of Smithfield's (another town close by) Royalty. I saw which spot she was supposed to be in so I painted her a special message.
Uncle Kurt and I chatting at the parade with my sister in the forefront.
And this is why Black and White Days was awesome when I younger. My friend Damond and I would always get dates for that day. We would pick them up and bring them to my house so they could watch the parade and then we would have dinner (BBQ) either at my house or at Damond's house. And then we would go watch the Horse Pulls that evening. Now you may be asking what the heck Horse Pulls are and they are exactly what they sound like. Farmers would bring their strongest horses and they would have a competition to see whose horses were the strongest. They would pull these huge concrete barrels and they would have to pull them a certain distance. Damond and I would take our dates to see this competition. We would bring a blanket to sit on and we would pick a set of horses and see if they would win. Now this may sound boring but Damond and I had ulterior motives for taking a date to the Horse Pulls. The Horse Pulls themselves were actually quite intense. These horses were so big and strong. And they would get pretty psyched to pull weight and sometimes the horses would just go so you had to be careful if they came your way. It seemed interesting to me that these horses themselves were competitive.
Yes, THAT is the only reason to go to the Horse Pulls at night. I took a date almost every year and some were better than others. Afterwards, we would head back to my house or to Damond's and have some ice cream and play some games. Some of my favorite dates were these ones.
Our parade even has a representative from the Galactic Empire. I didn't know if I should salute or not.
Here is Logan sharing some candy with his cousin Jessica
Like I said, some cute kids.