August 9, 2019
Zwartesluis (Black lock) is a tiny village, so tiny that it’s main feature is the lock through which we passed. So where were all the cars, bikes and pedestrians passing by the boat going to? We got the bikes off the bow and followed the flow towards the bridge. There workers were collecting a paring fee from cars. I asked one where to go and the pointed over the bridge, telling us to look for the fairway, apparently referring to one of those small carnivals that visit country towns in the summer. There was always one in Pearl River, where I grew up and learned to dislike most of the rides.
Down the street about a mile we saw where most were turning left. We followed them into the crowd, where at yet another bridge over a canal, this a smaller one, there were vendors selling ice cream and fried fish (of course) and a large calliope belting out a polka. We followed the crowd along the canal to where the canal was lined with those awaiting the parade in front of thatched roof houses with beautiful flower gardens. I assumed it would be a parade of small motorized craft given the dimensions of the canal. I was wrong, as I learned as soon as the sun went down.
First came a floating band followed by someone in a boat making balloons for the kids. Then around the curve came this:
This all in the midst of a very friendly crowd with their children, dogs and bikes. We asked a man sitting on the grass in front of us about the parade. He said it was an annual affair. There are no sponsors indicated on any of the floats. Muck of the music on the floats was recorded, with some very amateurish dancing and acting to go along with it. But hey, they have never been to Broadway and this is a tiny tiny town, with more cows than people. Look at how elaborate these floats are! Bravo for them!
Here are the videos I took in the nearly dark skies. Video quality is limited.