Frat boys dressed as SpongeBob. A pack of assorted-size dogs in sweaters walking alongside an "ark" float representing the local doggie daycare that was flooded this summer. Classic cars carrying University officials and, of course, the king and queen.
And let's not forget...the candy. Forget anything you ever imagined from your biggest haul on the best Halloween year. Henry now has a grocery sack filled to the brim with enough sweets to sugar-shock Willie-Freaking-Wonka.
My favorite moments of the evening involved the political marchers in the parade. The Obama folks, loud and proud and well supported from the parade route sidelines, chanted and tossed beads and buttons and passed out pamphlets to those interested in volunteering to accost others in the name of trying to save our country from the doom of "four more years of the same." Henry clapped and cheered and got himself a save-the-environment sticker from a passerby.
Then came the big van announcing the Johnson County Republicans. The woman behind us laughed and said, "Woo. Yay. All 12 of them." I was still chuckling when some guy walked up to Henry and slapped a big yellow sticker of one of the local GOP candidates on him. Dirty play, I say, since kids can't read and they love stickers. As soon as the guy moved on, I peeled it off of H's shirt and promised him I'd buy him a whole card of stickers if he'd please just not wear that one. He shrugged and we carried on.
I don't think he was permanently traumatized by the sticker incident. As we were walking back to the car at the end of the parade, out of the blue, Henry quietly started chanting.
I--O--W--A...Barack Obama All The Way! Hey hey hey hey...Barack Obama All The Way!