A parade, carnival and lots of patriotism

When Jeff and I decided last spring that we would be leaving Texas to move our family to Oklahoma for his new job, it was exciting in a lot of ways.  We had a fresh start.  We loved our life in Arlington, but both of us were honestly tired of the big city and life itself within DFW.  The pace was fast.  The traffic jams and construction were constant.  The noise never ceased.  And we both missed the qualities of a small town with all of its benefits and quirks.  We began searching through communities near north Tulsa – getting the lay of the land – and figuring out where we wanted to plant new roots for ourselves and the boys.

I knew early-on that I wanted a place like Mayberry.  I have craved for something simpler, slower paced and wholesome for a long time.  No… we didn’t end up in Mayberry exactly.  Every little town has the good, the bad and the eccentric.  But where we did land is among one of the most beautiful areas of Oklahoma.  And this town!  The people are so friendly as exemplified by our new church where members immediately welcomed us as family.  Patriotism is alive and well here too.  Have you experienced the pride and excitement as you’re driving behind a city services truck with an employee mounting American flags on the light posts downtown.  By downtown, I mean a few blocks here…. with a library, a chamber of commerce and a handful of businesses.

Recently Skiatook held its Pioneer Days festival, and it was bigger and more fun than I could have imagined.  Jeff was still in Florida for work, but the boys and I wouldn’t have missed the fun for anything!!

Here we are lining up for the parade.  The Shriners and town made sure everyone got free popcorn and flags to wave.   How cool is that?!  (And yes, we had a lesson on how to properly hold the flag after this shot.)

Here we are lining up for the parade. The Shriners and town made sure everyone got free popcorn and flags to wave. How cool is that?! (And yes, we had a lesson on how to properly hold the flag after this shot.)

Waiting patiently.  Sort of.  I missed the picture of them hitting each other with their flags.

Waiting patiently. Sort of. I missed the picture of them hitting each other with their flags.

People were lined up as far as you could see!  You could definitely feel the anticipation in the air... anticipation of parade candy!

People were lined up as far as you could see! You could definitely feel the anticipation in the air… anticipation of parade candy!

The old-school hot rods were modified so that the front ends came off the road.

The old-school hot rods were modified so that the front ends came off the road.

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You can't have a parade without the Shriners!

You can’t have a parade without the Shriners!

Halloween may not have anything on Pioneer Day's parade.  Liam was very happy with his haul of candy!

Halloween may not have anything on Pioneer Day’s parade. Liam was very happy with his haul of candy!

This little guy got tired but he never shut his eyes - he didn't miss a thing!

This little guy got tired but he never shut his eyes – he didn’t miss a thing!

One of the local candidates dressed up her dog like a judge.

One of the local candidates dressed up her dog like a judge.

There were some great classic cars!

There were some great classic cars!

In GOD We Trust!  Amen!

In GOD We Trust! Amen!

Skiatook straddles the border between Tulsa County and Osage County.  Our house, which is outside the city limits, is in Osage County and located on Osage Tribe reservation land.  Here is the Osage princess.  The Osage tribe colors are very pretty.

Skiatook straddles the border between Tulsa County and Osage County. Our house, which is outside the city limits, is in Osage County and located on Osage Tribe reservation land. Here is the Osage princess. The Osage tribe colors are very pretty.

Our local pink cement mixer truck.   Liam can't figure out why they painted it pink.

Our local pink cement mixer truck. Liam can’t figure out why they painted it pink.

A monster tractor followed by a monster truck.  Liam was in heaven.

A monster tractor followed by a monster truck. Liam was in heaven.

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We enjoyed seeing the military vehicles too.

We enjoyed seeing the military vehicles too.

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Check out the dog!

Check out the dog!

Here comes the FFA!  Ashley, our friend from church, is in the red shirt.  Liam and Cullen were thrilled when they spotted her.

Here comes the FFA! Ashley, our friend from church, is in the red shirt. Liam and Cullen were thrilled when they spotted her.

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Great float from one of our favorite local restaurants.

Great float from one of our favorite local restaurants.

There were American flags everywhere in the parade.  It was great!

There were American flags everywhere in the parade. It was great!

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Such a cool train!  Liam wanted to ride in it.

Such a cool train! Liam wanted to ride in it.

I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of the miniature goat in the pink tutu.

I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of the miniature goat in the pink tutu.

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Another one of our local favorites!  Their gumbo is awesome.

Another one of our local favorites! Their gumbo is awesome.

What a cutie, huh?!

What a cutie, huh?!

This pic is for Popaw!  Next year y'all have to come to the parade!!!

This pic is for Popaw! Next year y’all have to come to the parade!!!

Here's one of our local preachers who also works on John Deere tractors.  We bought our fireworks from him on July 4th.  Little towns have the most interesting, entertaining people!!

Here’s one of our local preachers who also works on John Deere tractors. We bought our fireworks from him on July 4th. Little towns have the most interesting, entertaining people!!

Another old hot rod.  Popaw, are you paying attention???

Another old hot rod. Popaw, are you paying attention???

Pioneer Days also hosts a rodeo.  We missed it this year with Jeff out of town, but hope to make it next time!

Pioneer Days also hosts a rodeo. We missed it this year with Jeff out of town, but hope to make it next time!

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Here are the rodeo queens!

Here are the rodeo queens!

Apparently "Don't Text & Drive" doesn't apply if you're riding a miniature horse!

Apparently “Don’t Text & Drive” doesn’t apply if you’re riding a miniature horse!

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These horses are more Cullen's speed.

These horses are more Cullen’s speed.

The little girl with the pigtails was adorable.

The little girl with the pigtails was adorable.

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Bringing up the rear of the parade are our wonderful police officers.

Bringing up the rear of the parade are our wonderful police officers.

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This is Cullen's first time to ride something special at a carnival.

This is Cullen’s first time to ride something special at a carnival.

By the end, he was very ready to get off!

By the end, he was very ready to get off!

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For a kid with vestibular issues, Liam LOVED the swing.  I couldn't believe he wanted to do it, much less that he would love it!!

For a kid with vestibular issues, Liam LOVED the swing. I couldn’t believe he wanted to do it, much less that he would love it!!

Liam also loved the roller coaster!

Liam also loved the roller coaster!

 

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