Saturday, May 3, 2014

I Love a Parade

From my vantage post two blocks away from Broadway, I made my way in bright sunlight and took a seat at curbside just before the 10:30 parade started. Every year the tiny town of Truth or Consequences celebrates its heritage as the only city in North America and perhaps in the world to be named after a quiz show.

In 1950 quiz show host Ralph Edwards challenged cities of North America to change their names to Truth Or Consequences, and he would honor the first to do so by broadcasting his show from the show's new namesake. The little town of Hot Springs, New Mexico, accepted the challenge.

Good as his word Edwards came here. Not once but every spring for half century. He started the Fiesta celebration, riding a big stallion as Grand Marshall leading the parade and kicking off a weekend of festivities.  The tradition endures.

Parade Honor Guard
It is a little bit like a laid back Southwest Mardi Gras parade. Is unclear what is and is not permitted. Seemingly most anything. Fire trucks are in great array. And floats.

About nine years a group of citizens seized the theme of that year's Fiesta, Space, in honor of Spaceport America built nearby, and donned colanders as helmets with weird things woven into them to guard  of against alien mind control.

The group has thrived and expanded and numbers today almost 40.  They march at the parade wearing their headpiece adornments.

A Colander Head in TorC
Colander Heads are to Truth or Consequence's Fiesta parade as Cheese Heads are to the Packers.

This year, after some debate, the chosen theme of the 2104 Fiesta was, hmm, Fiesta.

Party on, dudes.

It comes at a good time. For some reason, perhaps global climate change, it has been a cold and long and drawn out winter. Oh, sure, there is usually plenty of sun in the sunny Southwest but until yesterday night timely temperatures were staying stubbornly stuck in the low 40s. Today was different. The sun did its job and warmed things up.

In the Happy Belly Deli on Broadway crowds gathered and breakfasted outdoors. Women wore formal attire and cowboy outfits. Anything goes in TorC and usually does.

Miss Fiesta, her court and her honor guard
Meanwhile the lazy Rio Grande is making a comeback.

After several years of lower and lower water levels, it now snakes by south of the city a peaceful haven for waterfowl, fish and fishermen.

How this came about with so much drought no one seems to know but everyone is quite happy.
The Shriners' float, colorful as always

What has all this to do with busing? Maybe not much. But that will be changing soon. With the warmer weather I plan in a few weeks to begin a leisurely northern journey to Minnesota and spend much of the rest of the summer in state parks, her in New Mexico and elsewhere.

Busing is more than anything a state of mind.  It is parades, rivers, seeing things and meeting people. Camping and saying hello and goodbye to friends and acquaintances met along the way.

Moonrise over the Rio Grande


  1. Found your blog thru another followers blog...went thru TorC once on my way to Hatch then on to Deming as I recall....will be following along if you don't mind......

    1. Hi, Thanks for stopping by and the kind words.

  2. Delightful! Colander heads! Hilarious. Good to hear about your adventures.

  3. Hi. I enjoy your blog. I keep checking to see if you have posted. Suppose internet access is a problem? Please check in when you can.

  4. What happened to you? Hope you are all right!

    1. Hi RunRose. I am fine but have been busy. Am in Minnesota at the moment and will post to the blog in a day or so. Thanks. John