Brainerd Area News | Eric Grant | General

How To Not Be An Idiot During Parades This Year


Everyone’s getting all jazzed about the parades in the next few days… Here’s some Parade Etiquette 101.

The first thing to NOT do is mark of your territory like this:


… or this


… or THIS


… OR this


…Or This



Why? Why does one feel the need to mark their parade space 2-3 days before a parade? As I was driving around taking these pictures along the Brainerd parade route I found myself laughing because there are obviously people that feel they are so important that they must have a primo shade spot for the parade.

I’m going to get on my soap box here and say that while I know most city employees have plenty to do, I wish they would go around on July 3rd and remove every piece of staked out space.

Are parades fun? Sure. Are they that important that people should be allowed to stake off their spot then roll in 5 minutes before the parade on the 4th and plop down their chairs? Nope… Here’s an option… The city could sell parade tape for say, $5 a foot. All monies generated from parade tape goes toward a charity of the resident’s choosing. You want 40 feet of prime space, get out your wallet and pay for it. Oh and you want a spot in the shade? That’s $15/ft. Supply & demand my friends…

Ok, now let’s move on to my next beef. Clueless parents of greedy kids and their candy. This is a simple lesson in manners and space. Give your kid a 2X2 ft space for candy. If it’s out of that space, let other kids get it. The only person happier than your kid coming home with a full sack of candy is your dentist. Little Jaxon and Sweet Fiona don’t need it all. Teach boundaries and sharing my friends.

Late arrivals also are a sore spot… And it’s tough for me to write about because as a parent, I’ve been one. Trying to get 4 kids ready to go for a parade, water bottles, matching shoes, shirts with no rips and shorts with no stains? 2 out of 4 ain’t bad in my eyes… Okay, in the car… ready to go! Oh, you have to go to the bathroom?! Of course you do! Now we are late, and we are those people that roll into the parade route and try and find a space… Being that I’ve been on both sides, I think a compromise can be made. I know, novel idea. Kids young enough- say 4-12 can be on the front lines and parents can move back- as long as you know your young ones aren’t going to try and track down that lone tootsie roll that is about to get driven over by a tractor! And as long as said children follow the 2X2 rule from above.

Lastly, do not… I repeat, DO NOT yell this at people in the parade: “HEY, OVER HERE! YOU MISSED US!” or “C’MON, WE DIDN’T GET ANY!” I swear on everything I believe in, having been in dozens of parades… there is nothing that works less than that. I have been in toss mode and legit stopped my tossing motion because someone said that. No candy for you now m’lady.

Don’t be greedy, like we tell our kids- you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Oh, and a simple thank you NEVER hurts.

Thank you for reading this.


Re-posted from 7/2/2019