Oh! What a Parade – Essay by Kimberly Schultz
Kimberly Schultz lives in Fairmont, she won the $100 prize for best essay, in the first annual Fog Fest Essay Contest 2018.
“You want me to what?” I asked my daughter’s dance teacher.
“I want you and your daughter to walk in the parade at the FogFest,” she responded nonchalantly.
Now don’t get me wrong! I love a parade… from the sidelines, though!
“Ohhh-kaaaa,” I hesitantly agreed. And boy, was I in for an adventure!
Every year since we started dating and right up until welcoming our two daughters, my husband and I have joined in on the celebration of Pacifica taking in every aspect of the FogFest – except the Discover Pacifica Parade. We had nothing against the parade, we just chose to begin our venture in early afternoon where we have always gathered the family and sauntered down Palmetto Avenue. Our noses always lead the way to some truly unique food. We always sample a smorgasbord of flavors, knowing that our purchases support great local community groups! We become one with the sea of people, leisurely peeking our heads under every white canopy that line both sides of Palmetto Avenue. Every cubicle promises a unique treasure. We finger the handmade crafts from local artists, take in the glorious sights of one-of-a-kind sculptures, and spoil ourselves with unique gifts.
That year, five years ago, when my daughter and I were asked to join the Discover Pacifica Parade, what a wonderful new world it opened for my family. On that opening day, we anxiously arrived very early and waited in our parade order at the far end of Brighton Road. I watched as the Girl Scouts adorned in brown and blue vests eagerly hopped around; the Vallemar Cabrillo Band blew their horns and pounded their drums in hopes to be heard; their vibrations echoing throughout the streets; preschools dotted with clever vehicles to get their wee little ones safely down Palmetto Avenue; the 4H Club reassuring their frightened animals. “Wow!” I thought.
Wow was an understatement when the parade actually began and I watched as my timid daughter proudly bounced down the busy street in support of her dance school. In the rows of smiling, cheering onlookers that waved us through, I recognized friends, neighbors, and even the checkout cashier at our local grocery store.
I never felt so proud to be a part of something so meaningful. Our little Fog Fest parade had a purpose and I truly realized that this parade gave tribute to all the hardworking people and businesses from our tight-knit community. It was in those moments that I saw the pride my daughter took in dancing with her friends in one of our local thriving dance schools. I’m certain those moments were what all marchers in this festive parade felt.
From then on, my daughters and I have joined in on this grand showcase of talent. I have marched with both my girls with the Girl Scouts, Vallemar Cabrillo School Band, and with my youngest daughter’s dance school. Somewhere along the way I graduated from a devoted marcher to spectator. My husband and I now watch our two daughters, who are Pacificans born and raised, proudly march in the parade in support of our little community. Their contributions to our community is honored through this spectacular parade.