I love living in Burley, Idaho. Today is our Fair Parade. This means last night people started setting up blankets and chairs along our two main roads (which is the fair route) knowing that no one would bother them. This morning as I was driving through town, the streets are lined with children, parents and grandparents all waiting hours for the parade to start. True Americana at its finest. The local businesses will soon lock their doors and put signs in the windows stating "closed for the parade." Our parade might not have the fanciest floats but our parade is where a kid can feel famous for the day, while riding their bike through the parade and everyone clapping and waving at them. People will stand and applaud our veterans as they ride through on their float and our people will stand and salute the flag of our Country,
The parade kicks off our Country Fair. We love our fair! It isn't huge but it is the social event of the year! Our fair doesn't charge admission to get in the gates! Anyone can come! We love to go and eat dinner every night supporting our local charities and businesses. We will walk up and down the isles of the fair, in and out of the exhibits. We look for art, crafts or vegetables that have been entered in by someone we know, celebrating with them when they win! When we recognize someone, we take time to catch up on the latest and greatest happenings in their lives. The kids that have moved away manage to make it home for fair week and we get to see them. I will hear, "Coach Bus! Mama Bus!" and we always are excited to see each kid (many now are adults), we can embrace and visit with, taking a moment to invest in their lives. You might even make a new friend while at the fair, then there is the rodeo!
At the start of the Rodeo you will hear the National Anthem sung while you stand, placing your hand over your heart. You can join in with song if you wish or you can simply stand respectfully. After the National Anthem you will hear the announcer open the Rodeo games in prayer. People, of all faiths, will join together in prayer for that one moment. Once the announcer, Jeb Bell, says, "Amen" then the festivities begin! Our rodeo is a place where you can whoop and holler for your favorite roper or participants in the Wild Cow Ride. Here in Cassia we still crown Princesses and Queens and we honor our older generations by choosing a Grand Marshall. Here in Burley, PETA hasn't invaded our loving community. We save the best for last, the bucking broncs and bulls. This is the part where we cheer for the winners and clap for the losers. I always catch myself covering my eyes, peeking through my fingers and praying for the riders. I am thankful that there is still a remnant of the good ol' US of A that exists.
I have so much to be thankful for, and living in Burley is one of those things. When God called us to Burley, it felt like the move would rip my heart out but I had to trust God that He had a plan. I have learned to love Burley, Idaho. God has given us a great home, community, church and deep roots. He helped us to build a firm foundation in Burley, Idaho and for that I am so thankful.
God Bless America and Burley, Idaho, the land that I love and the place where God placed me!