Beaver Island has been smiled on by the sun for so many years
now on the Fourth that when the sky opened and a downpour doused
the would-be paraders, no one knew enough to get out of the rain.
So the Annual Parade took place after all, following an intrepid
performance by Signe's Soaked Irish Tappers and the valiant Community
Choir, squeezed tightly together under the Yacht Dock roof.
The sidewalks were thick with the huddled crowds, whose attitude
seemed to be, If they've got the dedication to march, we
can have the dedication to watch. As the puddles grew deeper
and float after float slogged past with the riders chucking candy,
the general feeling was that the parade would pass through town
quickly and then everyone would hurry home to dry clothes and
a fire, but as the crowd prepared to depart a shout went up: By
gosh, here they come again! Sure enough, the parade had
circled the last block and come back in stately formation, beaming
with pride at its pluck and perseverance.
The music played on. The clouds seemed to drift away, but then
returned; the sky was so thick and dark that the scheduled fly-overs
were called off. Yet everyone stayed to the very end, not minding
in the least if they were hit by one of the traditional water
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