The Pear Blossom Parade borders on the surreal

To the annual attendees of the Pear Blossom Parade in Medford, the usual cavalcade of floats, flaunters and fair-goers went off as always this year, leaving behind clouds of exhaust and gutters brimming with forgotten flyers.

But what does this march of madness really represent? Pear pride? Citizenship at its best? Overpriced vendors with $3 waters and $7 hotdogs?

Perhaps the most noticeable hint that something is awry is the parent who brings their child to experience this magical menagerie. Unfortunately, a half-hour after the parade starts and one-and-a-half hours before it ends, these kids are climbing up a hairless, varicose-veined wall of black-socked senior shins, hoping get the hell out and go home. Eyes brimming with tears and squalls of, “Mommy, I’m HOT!” fill the air before the first quarter of parade entries has passed, and the good-hearted parents who have provided their kids with this treat are sullenly contemplating how far away the car is and what the hell was I thinking?

Pear Blossom Parade. Photo by Heather Halvorsen/The Siskiyou

Next come the parade entries themselves: Les Schwab sponsoring a troupe of bicycles? Circus of Screams Haunted House riding their gargoyle-guarded float full of zombies that make gruesome faces for eager toddlers? A YMCA float themed “Pears, Vines, Whines, Good Times” that looks like a cornfield on wheels???? And, undoubtedly the most perplexing – Grace Christian School’s marching band, dressed all in black with a Batman-drum major leading round after endless round of the “Batman” theme song. Christ…

The sane person begins to think, Good God, what does any of this MEAN?

Perhaps the most frighteningof all entries are the Shriners. Consider this: they consist of seven octogenarians tearing hell through the toddler-lined streets of Medford, weaving back and forth just inches from the noses and toes of clueless, adult-trusting children whose foreheads are pelted with candy blindly thrown by fez-topped seniors struggling to keep their pipe-framed go-karts under control.

Pear Blossom Parade. Photo by Heather Halvorsen/The Siskiyou

Doesn’t there come a time when everyone must ask themselves: Is this really fun?

The Good People lining the parade-route are hard-working southern Oregonians who have taken the day to try and spend quality time with family and squeeze a little joy out of life.

Let’s rearrange our parameters of what we consider a good time, and begin to truly believe that we need, and are entitled to, a better, satisfying more.




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