Recently, Marianne and I went to the Eastern Shore for a few days of quiet relaxation, and by sheer good luck we discovered the Nace Hopklins Day Parade in Trappe, Maryland. Pictured above are reenactors representing Nace and his wife.
Nathaniel "Nace" Hopkins was born into slavery and, while still technically enslaved, enlisted in the Army and fought for the Union in the civil war. Upon his return home, he was instrumental in building the first school for Black children in the area and the incorporation of the Scotts United Methodist Church. He also began, in 1867, a yearly parade marking the 1864 emancipation of all enslaved people in Maryland. (Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, a year earlier, applied only the seceding states. The 14th Amendment was still a year away.) After his death in 1900, the parade was renamed in his honor.
As the man deserved. He was one of those people who built this nation.
So what was the parade like? Trappe is a small town, population roughly 1100, and the parade was everything good about small town parades. There were two high school marching bands, at least one children's dance group, about thirty Chevrolet Corvettes in gleaming condition (including one that Batman could only envy). Also various vehicles, including fire trucks. Lots of people threw out candy for the children.
Afterward, the local church had games, a bouncy castle for the children, prizes also for children, lots of food, and other entertainments. We didn't participate though it all looked like good fun. We'd already had the best of the event--being among the spectators and feeling the good will coming from them and directed toward them.
There are a couple more pics below. I didn't take many because I was enjoying myself too much.