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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Niland Tomato Festival Parade - (2/6/16) - Day 34

The Vandweller sub-group that was assembled at Slab City decided to attend the neighboring Niland, CA Tomato festival parade.

Niland is a down on your luck town that once had high hopes so long ago.  They still hold onto their hopes with this festival even though tomatoes are no longer anything grown commercially here.

When I say small town its main drag CA111 doesn't have a crossroad.  It only has a "T" intersection.

Like most small town parades they invite their neighbors, Calipatria or locals call "Calipat"for short, to the south and Slab City to the east.  There is no corresponding town close enough to the north and west is the Salton Sea.

Without the fun loving, free spirited, folks at "The Slabs". 3/4 of the parade would not have been.

Above is the band in tow that plays at the Range, the slabs' prominent Saturday night venue for people willing to give their musical art a try and others gather in various social merriment.

I'm going to show a couple of Niland entries but clearly the colorful entries were from the east.

Some of what is at Slab City is fixed and doesn't move other things still get where they want to go.

Music off the back of the bus.

This woman was from near where I camped and made her costume with the tomato theme.

Yes he is from the slabs.

The veterans came out.

This man from the slabs put his homemade truck camper in.

This is the East Jesus float.  See my separate post on East Jesus at the Slabs.

Another entry from East Jesus.

I believe this may also be from East Jesus.

And one more from East Jesus.

With a religious statue on the back,

This elaborate homemade camper is fro the slabs too.

This old man & his old tractor I think represented the VFW.  His poor POW/MIA flag had lost its top connection  so it wasn't proudly displayed as I expected this man had desired.

As in many small town parades the fire department takes up the rear of the parade.

What caught my interest as a Retired Fire Chief was it was playing a Jesus song on its PA got a religious group marching in front of it.  That wouldn't have happened where I come from.

Well we waited for the parade longer than it took to watch but we all enjoyed the show and helped fill the ranks on the sparse parade route.

Mark your calendars for next year.

Some were also going to attend the other events at the chamber of commerce/ fairgrounds for food later but I only attended the parade opting to use my afternoon to cook my meal of the day.


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