I got to learn a lot about my wife this last weekend as we visited the town of Thatcher, AZ where her dad grew up for their annual "Pioneer Day" celebration. It was GOOD FUN and I suspect we'll be going back every year. I grew up in Spring City, UT and although we did have a similar festivity (I remember a fireman's breakfast and fire trucks to wake everyone up at 6 am), I don't think our little town of 900+ residents was able to put on quite the show that Thatcher (a whopping 4,000+ residents) does.
I say it was "good fun" and I'm being totally honest. Once you see the pictures below, you may think I was being sarcastic but I really did enjoy myself. I think that now that I'm a big city boy, laughing at the traditions of a small town was only so fun because it hit so close to home.
We got to Thatcher just in time for the parade at 5:00PM. It was raining (as you can see from the pictures), but not even the most fierce storm could have stopped us from supporting these guys. Here are some examples of the floats we saw. Most of them have to do with the recent announcement that a new LDS temple will be built in Gila Valley.
There were others but I think these should be enough to give you an idea. After that, the whole town (and surrounding towns) head up to the college of Eastern Arizona football field to have some food and watch the fireworks. I had forgotten what a friendly and fun environment a small town can be (to visit, not to stay!) Katie's dad spent the whole evening talking with old friends while Katie and I took Bauer (their dog) for a walk
Lots of hilarity ensued. I love that dog. Anyway, remember how I told you that a storm had been breweing over head the whole time? Well now it stepped up a notch and we got soaked. Of course it was right in the middle of the fireworks, so we couldn't very well get up and leave (at least I couldn't) and we decided to stay and "weather" the storm.
And now for the climax of our story. I was content to be wet on the car ride home, but Katie's grandma
Insisted that we have dry clothes. We had to take them off of course, and in the mean time, she provided us with ... clothing (can I call it that?) to wear until they were dry. Katie got off easy with an old red robe of her grandma's, and I got stuck with a hand made v-neck sweater from 1940 that used to be her grandpa's. Take a good look at these photos, folks -- you won't find them anywhere else.
So there you have it, folks! Will we be seeing you there next year?