MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Before we say goodbye today, it is 4th of July weekend after all, so how about a little peek at some of the Independence Day festivities in store here in the District? We take you now to Northwest D.C., to a neighborhood along the Potomac River, nestled between the edge of Georgetown University and the D.C.-Maryland border.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
It's the Palisades, and for nearly half a century, thousands of spectators have crowded MacArthur Boulevard to watch a ragtag team of revelers march in the community's annual 4th of July Parade. Replete with drummers, dancers, horses and homemade floats, the parade is a kind of small-town tradition still thriving in the big city. In this audio postcard, participants talk with Jessica Gould about what keeps the annual Independence Day Parade going strong.
MR. MAX MERRIMAN
The first parade that I ever attended was in 1966 when I was about six or seven years old. (unintelligible) always attended the parade in one way or another, often times just viewing it. But in the last, what, 10 years or so I think it's been, that I've actually been taking part in the parade. And I became George Washington all of a sudden. And Maryanne Mack (sp?), who's been Martha Washington for decades, I guess, I was her new George Washington because her husband had just died the previous year.
MR. MAX MERRIMAN
She and I would walk together and she had everybody convinced that she was Martha Washington. Her costume, the look on her face, the white hair, she had them sold. I, on the other hand, even though I had a costume on, they kept asking me, who are you? What are you doing? And I would have to identify myself constantly during the parade, and I still didn't have them convinced. They always looked at her.
MS. BETH MCKINNEY
So I bought a new Martha Washington costume because Maryanne had taken hers with her to Florida and I marched by myself last year as Martha Washington in the parade. And it was fairly well received, I think. Someone who was an older member of the church, she came out of the crowd to me and said, you know, you're going to have to do this for the rest of your life. And I said, yeah, I figured, but it's a lot of fun.
MS. MARY CHEH
Well, my history goes way back. We've been in Washington since the late 1970s. Of course, it changed a little bit when I got elected to the council and even when I was just running for the council, because it's a must-attend, particularly for the Ward 3 representative. But all of the politicians from around the District come, typically. And oddly enough, that doesn't, you know, ruin things.
MR. ANDY MOLLISON
It used to be you had kids and grandkids and you might all live within a half-mile, mile of each other. The kind of world we have today, families are scattered, not just across the country, but across the globe, and that sometimes can make it a little hard to hold a sense of community together. Now, what the parade does is offers everybody a chance to get together, meet each other, say hi to their neighbors in a noncommercial context.
It's a celebration, not only of Independence Day, but of the small town American neighborhood flavor that this country used to have a lot of and a way of trying to maintain that in a huge city.
MR. BILL SLOVER
Anybody can come, anybody can march in it. We don't take applications. You don't register for it. You just -- if you feel like you wake up the morning of the 4th of July and you want to march in the parade, then come on down to White Haven Parkway and we'll get you in the parade and you can march.
That was George Washington look-alike, Max Merriman, Martha Washington look-alike, Beth McKinney, council member, Mary Cheh, Palisades Village President, Andy Mollison, and Palisades Citizen's Association President, Bill Slover.
You can catch the Palisades Parade on July 4th, starting at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of White Haven Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard and you can see photos of past parades on our website, metroconnection.org.
And that's "Metro Connection" for this week. We heard from WAMU's David Schultz, Kavitha Cardoza, Bryan Russo, Courtney Collins and Jessica Gould. Jim Asendio is our news director. Our managing producer is Tara Boyle. Our intern is Lauren Landau.
Thanks to Tobey Schreiner, Jonathon Charry, Andrew Chadwick, Margo Kelly, Timmy Olmstead and Kelin Quigley for their production help and to the WAMU digital media team for keeping our website up to date.
Our theme song, ''Every Little Bit Hurts'' and our ''Door To Door'' theme "No Girl" are from the album "Title Tracks" by John Davis and used with permission of the Ernest Jennings Record Company. Visit our website, metroconnection.org, for a list of all the music we use.
And while you're there, you can sign up for our Twitter feed, you can join our Facebook community. You also can subscribe to the free "Metro Connection" podcasts, so you can take us with you wherever you go.
We hope you can join us next Friday afternoon at 1:00 and Saturday morning at 7:00 when we investigate mysteries, puzzles and enigmas of the D.C. region, from what really lies beneath DuPont Circle to finding Sasquatch in Virginia.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1
She said the hands were very large, you know, almost the size of like a dinner plate. And as she was describing all that, you could see the hair on her arms standing up.
I'm Rebecca Sheir, and thanks for listening to "Metro Connection," a production of WAMU 88.5 news.
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