Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day, 2008!

Today is Independence Day. On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, and the United States officially broke from the rule of England.

Happy Birthday, USA!

Regis and I were on a little mission and we ran across these two enterprising kids with a lemonade stand. They explained how it folds up and fits on a cart that they pull from their house down the street. We were their third and fourth customers.

This is what Washington Avenue looks like on the 3rd of July. People come out very early to claim spots on the boulevards and in the parks. You can't see it in this picture but some of the blankets are held down with a steak knife in each corner. Regis is amazed that the whole process is so orderly and nobody messes with the stuff overnight.

More blankets and chairs by the library.

One of the most fascinating parts of St. Peter's history is the strong circus presence this area had through the Engesser family during the early 1900s.

This year's St. Peter July 4th celebration will honor the legacy of George Engesser and the rest of his family. This year's parade and old-fashioned picnic in Minnesota Square Park carry the circus theme with several special events.

The Engesser family will be on hand en masse to march in the parade as Grand Marshals with several dressed in circus garb. One of those who will be riding in the parade will be Grace (Engesser) Paquette, 98, who was married to George Engesser's brother Henry and was part of the traveling circus. Grace, who still resides in St. Peter, will ride in a golf cart in front of the rest of the Engesser clan.

Pictures and stories to come later!


Jill said...

Good of you to document the pre-parade hoopla, which begins at least 24 hours in advance of the parade. It's as much a tradition as the parade itself.

I love that the eldest Engesser rode in a golf cart in the parade. I hope she's a better driver than Annie is, golf cart-wise. Ask her about her cart-driving talents in her earlier years.

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill said...

You'll have to remove the duplicate comment. It must be my eyes.

I intended to add a P.S. anyway, so this space won't be wasted. Reading about the Engesser circus in the paper made me think about Water for Elephants, and imagine that local circus folks were impacted by the Depression the same way as the story characters were. Not to mention hoping the Engessers were kinder to their elephants.

Jill said...

Me again. I realized I could delete it myself.