Memorial Day Parade 2009

25 May 2009

After two days of clouds and rain and even thunder and lightning, Memorial Day Monday dawned beautifully.  And, the crowds at Scarborough Renaissance Festival took advantage of it!  Unfortunately, in continuation of what seems to be the trend this spring, they were not in a spendy mood!  At least not for high-dollar merchandise.  East Wind Games did great with an average price point in the twenty dollar range, and with a product mix that’s perfect for these difficult times when “Family Game Night” wins out over other more costly activities.  But, across the street, with fabulous, high-quality Renaissance costuming . . . not so much in the way of sales.  My typical sales curve is way up on closing weekends—-but, not this time.

One highlight of the day, though, no matter how high or low the sales, is the Memorial Day Parade.  Now, I know that every faire has a parade, every day it’s open.  And, I know that thousands of Memorial Day parades are held throughout this fine country.  But, I’d wager that few are as special and as appreciated as is this Memorial Day Parade at Scarborough Renaissance Festival.

Upon arrival at the front gate, all American veterans are invited to visit the “cottage” and pick up their yellow ribbon sash, where they are then given instructions for where to be when to join in marching in the parade.   Unlike other parades at faire, this parade is led by an American Flag, and all the various flags of the military branches.  Then, a giant American flag is carried by an appropriate number of vets.  And then, the sea of yellow ribbon sashes.  Men and women, young and old, in renfaire costumes, in blue jeans, some even in military uniforms—-all wearing a yellow ribbon sash, and all marching in a parade that causes life at faire to pause and notice.  Cameras are everywhere.  And very few eyes remain dry.  It’s one of my favourite events of the year.