In early June, the usual suspects (me, Honeydew, Brother Dear, Pseudo Sista) were sittin’ around discussing our favorite month – July – and our favorite holiday – July 4.  How, we wondered, should we celebrate this year?

Brother Dear thought he had the answer: a parade!  Down our dusty dirt road on the west end of Duck Lake!  We could decorate our flatbeds and busted up Ford Explorers and forklifts and ancient convertibles and four wheelers and have ourselves a grand ole time.

As I recall, his idea was met with silence.  Yeah, right, I remember thinking.  That’ll never happen.

But Brother Dear persevered, and to our collective surprise – including his – we had ourselves a grand ole parade, followed by a grand ole par-tay at the Tack Barn, this 4th of July.  We only wish we’d thought to line up a friend with a camera to document the procession!  Here are the shots we did get – and if you’re ever wondering about how to most fabulously celebrate your 4th of July in the middle of nowhere, I highly recommend your very own parade …

Parades bring out the best in everyone.  Honeydew changed out of his white-tshirt-and-Wranglers-uniform, at my request.  He looked pretty precious holding Maggie Rose, who was decked out in the most adorable red-white-and-blue outfit ever, thanks to Kristin Johnson.

We requisitioned my Dad’s old convertible, conveniently already white with a red and blue racing stripe, and prepared for Maggie’s short reign as Miss Duck Lake.

Our festive Canadian neighbors hitched up their quad to a trailer hauling a party cow … and then joked with us that they had gone to Great Falls (as opposed to their native Calgary) to get said cow, so that none of us suffered from Mad Cow Syndrome … we love these folks.

Roy and Buck, above, got in on the festivities, too.

I tried to teach Maggie the Beauty Queen Wave, but Miss Duck Lake was content to snooze against me during the length of the parade … can you see our entourage, stretched out behind the convertible?

We are kicking ourselves that we did not get better pictures …

Brother Dear brought up the rear, maneuvering the tractor, which had never looked better, and bush hog, carrying our friend Daniel Franck, and the requisite cooler.  It was mighty hot, for near Babb, on the 4th this year.

Having paraded, Brother Dear welcomed our friends and neighbors to the Tack Barn, and proclamed the party in full swing.

I’m proud to say that Pseudo Sista, after many years of apprenticeship under Nan and Sissy, has graduated to Professional Party Planner status as of the 4th party, which she and her many lists orchestrated.  Behind every good man ….

Do you see her centerpiece, above?  That’s how I know she graduated … that, and how she was making lists of the serving pieces we would need.  PRO-fessional.  Great job, honey.

Daniel Franck brought a delectable assortment of deviled eggs: bacon-rach, horseradish, and “normal.”  They were divine.

Brother Dear brined, smoked, and cooked a pork shoulder …

And created the perfect North Carolina-style vinegar sauce to go with it.  Delish.

Here are the participants of the First Annual Duck Lake Parade … we hope the rest of y’all will join us next year!

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