Monday, February 1, 2016

Joys of Living in Fairhope - Mardi Gras Dog Parade

One of the joys of living here in Fairhope, Alabama, is the small town feeling and camaraderie that is expressed almost every day. From strangers sending welcoming waves of hello to running into people you know at the market, one is constantly reminded that this sense of community is what makes living in a small town wonderful and rewarding.

Saturday was no exception.

We arrived around 11:00am and walked to the park, where hundreds of people with their best friends were signing in for the days Mardi Gras Dog Parade.From little chihuahuas to a Massive or two, they were dressed in their Mardi Gras costumes and ready to show their 'stuff' to the rest of our little town.

Everyone lined the streets and waited patiently. There were hundreds of children both spectating and in the parade. And in this small town, children were encouraged to take the front row of the streets for clear viewing and easy grabbing of the Mardi Gras booty.

Suddenly they came around the corner: dogs, people, kids, either walking, or on 'floats' (really cool decorated strollers and red Ryder wagons) being pulled by their owners.
All dressed up in costumes!

Necklaces, moon pies and other fun goodies were thrown to all the kids, whose angelic faces of glee shown brightly when they caught the flying trinkets and held onto them.

But the stars were the dogs themselves.

Big ones, small ones, fat ones and tall ones.
All parading together.

Like our community. All together, enjoying the event, laughing, shouting for joy, having a great time.

I was reminded again, looking about, that this was what a small town is all about -- coming together in a joyous way and sharing the moments with family, friends and neighbors.

And of course, Daisy and Judy were there to be a part of the whole event, although Daisy was content to just watch!

 It is the feeling I had growing up in La Puente, California, where every neighbor knew each other and all the neighborhood kids.  We would put on shows, play music, and always get together as families. It was my little home town.

These little home towns are still alive in the South.

Especially Fairhope.

I'm glad about that. It is what I have been searching for and finally found. 

And I am proud to call Fairhope home.

John O'Melveny Woods is a writer, publisher and film producer who relocated from 'Southern' California almost four years ago.  His web site is: