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John Eggers: 21 reasons you should see the Debs Parade

The best show in town on the Fourth of July is the Debs parade. Here is why you need to take the time to see it.

Reason No. 1: Everyone says, “You need to see the Debs parade.” Now when they say it, you can say, “I know. I’ve seen it and you are right. Everyone should see the Debs parade.”

Reason No. 2: There is always a good place to view the parade. If you don’t want to watch the parade, you can be in the parade. Just show up, bring a sign that says who you are or what you do or what you would like to do and you’re in. They give you a number, you line up and before long viewers are applauding you. Rather than seeing the parade, you can watch the people seeing the parade. It’s almost just as good.

Reason No. 3: Both democrats and republicans attend the Debs parade along with a few die-hard socialists. Because republicans believe all democrats are socialists, at least for one day democrats can humor them and attend a parade in honor of a socialist — Eugene Debs. Republicans attend just to show democrats they can live with people who think and act differently than they think and act. Debs is one of the few parades where both republicans and democrats can get along surprisingly well.

Reason No. 4: More candy is thrown out in two blocks in the Debs parade than any other parade in the state. The week after the Debs parade is the busiest time of the year for dentists.

Reason No. 5: It never rains in Debs on the Fourth of July. You need to attend just to see that I’m right.

Reason No. 6: If you don’t have a lot of time but the kids still want to go to a parade on the Fourth of July, the parade lasts about 30-45 minutes. If you stay to watch it go around again, it’s about an hour or so. That will give you plenty of time to do whatever else you need to do.

Reason No. 7: It’s cheap entertainment. There is no cost and no rides to take the kids on after the parade. You can go home and turn on the grill or catch the first or last part of the Twins game or just take a nap.

Reason No. 8: You won’t get sunburned too badly because the parade is over before you can get the sunscreen out. Remember to bring a hat. What about mosquitoes? Not to worry, mosquitoes don’t mingle with socialists. Don’t ask me why.

Reason No. 9: It’s the only parade in the United States that has an actual, true to life, replay. If your wife says to you, “Did you see that cute gal riding that horse?” and you missed it, you can say, “Well, I’ll just see her when she rides by the second time.”

Reason No. 10: If you have relatives or friends in town on the Fourth and you have nothing to do, go to Debs. I have never seen people walk away with a frown on their face. Your friends will say, “That was nice. Now we can say that we’ve been to the Debs parade.”

Reason No. 11: Guys, fish aren’t biting? Take the family to Debs and show others what a family man you are.

Reason No. 12: The Debs parade could use a little more music. Maybe you’re it. Anything goes. Got a cowbell? That will work.

Reason No. 13: After the parade, feel free to scoop up the horse droppings and put them in your garden. Take a little piece of Debs with you.

Reason No. 14: They say President Obama will be there. They said that last year and the year before but he didn’t show so the likelihood is that much greater that he will show up this year.

Reason No. 15: Are you afraid of elephants and tigers and lions? You don’t have to worry. The Debs parade doesn’t have any of these.

Reason No. 16: Getting tired of too many 18-wheelers and big fire trucks? Are your kids scared of loud noises? Not to worry, there aren’t any of these either. Little trucks and little fire engines and little noises, yes.

Reason No.17: Do you want to see a cute parade? Go to the Debs parade. Buttons are cute but not as cute as the Debs parade.

Reason No. 18: Want to lose a few pounds? March in the Debs parade carrying a sign that says, “I am walking to lose a few pounds but I don’t want to lose too many. That’s why I am walking in the Debs parade.”

Reason No. 19: After you’ve been to the parade you can design your own T-shirt that reads, “I’ve been to the Debs parade.” People will ask you where Debs is and then you can tell them to be sure and attend next year.

Reason No. 20: Other than saluting the flag, going to the parade is the next best thing to do. Yes, you can also salute the flag at the Debs parade.

Reason No. 21: Your neighbors will be at the parade and if you’re not there, what will the neighbors think? See you there.

JOHN R. EGGERS of Bemidji is a former university professor and area principal. He also is a writer and public speaker.