Well, there we are. Some of us, anyway. The parade party is such an in-and-out affair. The biggest difference between this year and, say, 2005 (my first spring in the Fives) is all the babies. Look at all those young'uns. I remember going to big shindigs with my family as a wee one, with the grownups disappearing in small groups and coming back smelling funny, meeting other kids that I still run into (mostly, admittedly, in bars and at shows). So I look at my friends' babies and think, here we go again.
As for the parade itself, we cheered nearly every float, beauty queen, marching band, business, politician, community group, poop-scooping prisoner, and boiled peanut vendor who went past my house. Now, there was pretty much dead silence as the Sons of Confederate Vets went slouching past us, with one or two calls of "out with the old south, in with the new!" and "you're standing in the way of progress!" I know, some folks just love the play the martyr, and I'm as proud a southerner as you'll find, but damn. Give up all that crap and get up here with the rest of us. I promise, it's a lot more fun. But I suspect they're not doing as well these days - it looks like they couldn't afford to bring in that one Black Confederate that hires out to groups like that so they can claim not to be racists.
Days of prep, hours of party. Still well worth it.