We have lived just a half-hour from Holland for almost three years, but somehow didn't know this was even a thing until two weeks ago. But parades and ice cream are right up my alley--I mean, the kids' alley--so I marked the calendar.
On Labor Day morning, we jumped in the car and headed to Holland about 30 minutes before the parade was set to start from Zeeland. There was an abundance of parking. Like, you could park easy breezy on the street of the parade route (8th Street, I think).
We picked a spot along near the curb to put down our blankets, which is all I thought to grab. Lawn chairs would've been peachy. And then we waited for the trucks to rumble into town while the kids scaled flagpoles, utility boxes, banisters...whatever they could get their monkey hands on.
We waited. And waited. I wished for coffee. My sister bought a magazine. The fleet arrived about 30-45 minutes behind schedule, but it was a beautiful morning and no one seemed to mind. Led by the big red Herman Miller truck, another 72 big rigs and itty bitty trucks rolled past. There was a LOT of honking. There was a lot of begging for more honking. One truck had a train whistle. Yeah. That was loud. Next year, bring ear protection, self.
My favorite part was that it truly was a feel-good celebration of hardworking individuals and local businesses. The drivers seemed to be having fun, a lot of them had their kids in the cab with them, and the trucks were so clean that there was obviously a lot of pride in participating in the event. It was all pretty fabulous.
The parade ended at the Civic Center, where the big trucks filled the parking lot. A short ceremony was held. Then there was free ice cream (plus water and chips). The line was long and we almost left to go find ice cream elsewhere, but it would've probably taken just as long. We took ours away from the crowds and over to Centennial Park for an impromptu picnic and quick game of frisbee.
bring lawn chairs and ear protection
don't dillydally if you want to beat the crowd to the ice cream table