Here Comes the Sun

Tisen getting comfy under the booth--he turned out to be a big attraction

Tisen getting comfy under the booth–he turned out to be a big attraction

Given the size of Chattanooga, I am always surprised by the number of celebrations the city hosts.  Besides music venues, festivals, concerts, and fireworks, there seem to be a large number of parades.  Although, I guess it has been since Christmas that I was aware of a parade.  I’m sure there have been many, none-the-less.  🙂

I didn’t actually know what this weekend’s parade was for until I googled it just now.  I ended up on the Walnut Street Bridge manning a booth for the Chattanooga Audubon Society along with another volunteer.  We didn’t really know what to expect–it was a first for this event.

The parade opened with the rental bikes available all over the city at convenient locations

The parade opened with the rental bikes available all over the city at convenient locations

As it turns out, it might be a long time before there is another parade on the Walnut Street Bridge–the parade was in honor of its reopening as a park 20 years ago.  It’s a fantastic place and one definitely worth celebrating.  Our job, however, was to sign up as many people as possible for our email list, give those who did sign up free passes to the Audubon Acres property, and pass out Toostie Pops to children who showed interest.

Next came a mini choo choo belonging to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Next came a mini choo choo belonging to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga–well, it’s back there behind the bikes

As a sideline, I hoped to point out interesting birds to passers by and had binoculars and bird books set out for that purpose.  As usual, however, we were out in the middle of the afternoon at the worst possible time for birding.  We did see a Great Blue Heron and some Rock Pigeons, but nothing very exciting.

The thing that was the most amazing about sitting out on the Walnut Street Bridge on Sunday afternoon was the sun.  The weather was supposed to be rain all weekend.  When I looked at the weather channel app on my iPhone, the chance for rain dropped from 100% to 90% about noon on Sunday.  When we drove out to Audubon Acres to pick up lunch and load up the stuff we needed for the booth, the rain had slowed to a mist.

I don't know if the sunshine made these dancers especially enthusiastic, but they sure were having fun

I don’t know if the sunshine made these dancers especially enthusiastic, but they sure were having fun

By the time the van was loaded and we were back on our way to the Walnut Street Bridge, the rain had stopped.  When we arrived on the bridge, I pulled on my rain jacket for warmth–the sky was dark and threatening and the wind was blowing hard.  By the time we’d been there a half an hour, I was pulling off my jacket and putting up my umbrella for protection from the sun instead of the rain.

Tisen tucked himself back in the corner under the shade from my umbrella and drank more water than I’ve seen him drink in a long time.

It was like the parade organizers had special-ordered the weather.  This respite from the rain lasted long enough for the parade to conclude, our van to be re-loaded, and for us to drive nearly all the way home before the clouds blew back in and the rain re-started.  I really think I need to get to know the parade organizers better.

The dancers may have been the highlight of the parade

The dancers may have been the highlight of the parade

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