The State Fair is a Big Deal in Texas. It happens every year, and every year I know it's coming, because it ALWAYS begins the weekend of my birthday (another internationally recognized holiday, but I digress!). Every year, on the Opening Day of the State Fair, I have the same "oh drat!" moment at about 10:05 p.m.----that's about the time that the local news airs clips of the festivities, and I realize that ONCE AGAIN I have forgotten about the parade!!!.....and I kick myself for another year, haha. My children LOVE a parade; there is a reason for this. Several years ago, when my oldest boys were just toddlers, they got on a jag of watching "The Sound of Music". Often. Too often. Daily. This went on for months. I can quote EVERY SINGLE LINE in that movie, and sing every song (when the children ALLOW me to sing along, that is)! In order to cure them of what was destroying my love of a great, classic musical, we introduced them to "The Music Man" (Thanks, Auntie Linda Lou!!!). heehee...I'm sure you see where this is going! We then watched, ate, slept, breathed, sang, and danced "The Music Man" for probably six months (Can anyone say "Shepoopie"?). After this the twins developed an obsession for marching bands, and percussion instruments. Soon after, we began our family tradition of attending the local Fourth of July parade, and it took me several years to even realize that we have a State Fair Opening Day Parade. I was proud of myself and thrilled that somehow my sleep-deprived brain recalled this tidbit of information this year, well in advance of the date. My dear honorary cousin Kathy works downtown, and so we decided to meet up and watch the parade. I made a picnic lunch, we enlisted my dad and stepmom Linda to go with us, and off we went! It was truly fun, a gorgeous Texas autumn (now there's an oxymoron!!) day, just perfect. We arrived in plenty of time, met up with our Downtown Guide, Kathy, and walked a couple blocks over to Main Street. We settled in on a nice curb and ate lunch while we waited for noon. The parade was worth waiting for! The children were delighted (Jason was not too impressed with the clowns!), and made several memorable comments ( Patrick, upon observing the collegiate drill team in their flesh-colored tights, said, "Their legs look like plastic!!"). It was really a pleasant family outing, and a memory of a fun date with my family that I will look forward to scrapbooking! To top it all off, if you check out the Sept. 28th page of www.dallasmorningnews.com and click on the video clip that says 'State Fair Parade', towards the end of the clip you will see a lovely full-screen shot of 4 of my 5 children! We're famous!