Western Massachusetts is one of the earlier settled areas of the USA. I can't imagine how hard it was for the early colonists to live in our old house which is said to have been built in 1751. Bernardston was incorporated 250 years ago and although our farmhouse isn't in that town now, it was back then. That is until the big controversial split about 202 years ago when Leyden became its own town. The Farmer's French Canadian family settled in Bernardston, buying Sunbrite Farm in the early part of the 20th century.
Our float went through several phases - grand with a flat bed and a tractor. Then it scaled back to a tractor and a wagon load of sheep. That seemed doable until I couldn't find anyone to drive the tractor and there was no way I was going to do it - I can't back up my SUV much less a tractor with a trailer load of sheep.
Last week I got creative. I had to. I couldn't disappoint her. The Farmer couldn't help because he had to sell lamb at the Amherst Saturday Market - can't miss the source of revenue. And truthfully, he is not a parade kind of guy. Julia gathered our friends to walk with us. Alice and Bridget who are always up for helping out came over one evening last week. We glue-gunned washed wool onto baseball caps. Talk about silly. (Photo by Matthew)
Our float consisted of Olympia, the paper mache sheep, riding in a little teeny wagon decorated with sunflowers from the garden. I didn't get a good photo of her - darn. And because the committee wanted live animals and I couldn't pull off a sheep walking down the street (none of ours are tame nor trained), we brought Nessie. A sheep dog is the next best thing.
We wrote current agricultural buzz words on foam-core - LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE, GRASS FED, and YUMMY. Here we are waiting for the big show.
Alice bought some white tee-shirts and wrote BAA on the back of them.
Here we are walking down the street (photo by Gloria). Thanks to Mike and Ben (who pulled Olympia in her chariot), Kristin and Sean (who was in charge of Nessie who led the pack), and Alice and Bridget for helping create the fun and being really good sports about wearing the funny hats. Couldn't have done it without any of them.
When Julia was going to bed that night she said to me "Mommy, that was the very best day in my life." Sweeeet - glad I didn't get my busy-ness get in the way of that.
Happy 250th Birthday Bernardston!