Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

This Parade Stands Still

Posted on: May 26, 2013

fire truckThe tiny community of Whalan, Minnesota, held its 18th annual Stand Still parade in May.  The parade units — a fire truck from 1869, old cars, Festival royalty from a neighboring town — are parked on either side of the town’s short main street; the observers stroll!  The American Legion Color Guard starts off colorguardthe parade.

The Stand Still parade is an interesting and unique local tradition that draws people from the surrounding area and visitors biking through town on the popular Root River Bike Trail.   A flea market and food, including traditional Norwegian rommegrot and lefsa round out the event.

gasstationAn old gas station serves as a unique museum in Whalan.  Odds and ends of tools, advertising signs and other gas station memorabilia commemorate 100 years of gas stations.  The visit reminded me of hanging out at small town gas stations with my father and  high school friends.

What are some unique festivals and events in your community? What would you see if you visited small communities in other states?  Local Legacies: Community Roots has a map with links to unique festivals and celebrations in each U.S. state and territory.  Local Legacies documents the creative arts, crafts, and customs representing traditional community life; signature events such as festivals and parades; how communities observe local and national historical events. Local Legacies is accessible through the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

Have fun exploring history and primary resources in your classroom.  Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Disciplinary Literacy and Using Primary Sources begins June 17.

Parade Car Show. (YouTube, 2012)
Way off the Road (New York Times, 2007)


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