Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Barrage!

Friday, May 7th, was a special night in St. Joseph. It was the night that Barrage came to town. D and I were fortunate enough to get tickets to the performance at St Joseph High School. Oh what a treat it was!

If you're not familiar with Barrage I'll give you the synopsis and refer you to their web site. In short, it is an 8-member musical group consisting of 5 violinists, 2 guitarists, and a drummer. But they are so much more than that! They sing and dance while playing amazing music... it's a very theatrical performance!


I'd like to tell you more about it but it's one of those things that you just have to experience in person to truly appreciate. I understand this was the third time this group has played in St. Joseph and if they should make a return visit I'd strongly encourage you to see them. They play a wide variety of music including, country, rock, Russian folk tunes, jazz, and classics... and some music that just can't be classified ;-)

Here's a picture of them on stage playing with members of St Joseph HS's string orchestra.


They put on a high energy performance so there's no danger of you falling asleep, LOL!

One of the truly nice things about St Joseph is the cultural entertainment you find here. Barrage is just one example, and it was a terrific one!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blossomtime Festival, Grand Floral Parade

Well, we've been busy finishing up our condo remodeling and redecorating projects for the year. Thankfully, they are now all done! :-) One bedroom painted, one bathroom gutted and redone, a few doors replaced, and all the wood moldings on the first floor painted. Yeah!

Now, about the Grand Floral Parade in St. Joseph on May 1st,... It was charming! I've been to my share of parades (plenty) in and around the Motor City, including the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but I've never seen such a wonderful down-home, true Americana parade. There were several differences I noticed from the parades I'm used to. The primary difference was the lack of politicians, LOL! There were no politicos riding in convertibles waving to the crowds with phony smiles plastered on their faces while their family members and campaign volunteers walk along side wearing tacky banners and throwing pieces of hard candy to the crowds lining the streets. Nope, not a one! :-D

This parade was all about the young people of Southwest Michigan. I think just about every community must have been represented with a lovely float filled with beautiful young ladies and gentlemen. Of course there were a good number of marching bands too, and a few firetrucks, clowns, and horses thrown in for variety's sake. The weather was delightful for sitting out with temps in the low 70s to begin with and dropping to the upper 60s by the end of the parade.

We arrived about noon and had no trouble getting a parking spot just a short walk from Main Street. We sat in front of the BP Gas Station just across the street from Stooges Bar. Shortly before the 1pm start time we were treated to a terrific show by the Indianapolis Precision Motorcycle Team.

We enjoyed all the marching bands and parade floats. The ladies on the floats all looked lovely and the gentlemen very handsome...
Miss Blossomtime, Kyra Heit and Mr. Blossomtime, Michael Semenic

I was impressed with how large the St. Joseph HS marching band was!



I loved the flags of the Lakeshore Lancers!



A band of a different sort... the Circle City Sidewalk Stompers :-)

We saw horses...
Tom Mix and "Tony" the Wonder Horse... I wonder makes Tony the Wonder Horse?

And clowns...





And some "Wow! That's cool!"...



And some mighty fine tractors...



Congratulations on a job well done to all who planned and participated in this event. It was wonderful :-)

That evening, D and I went to Tabor Hill Winery for dinner. We celebrated our wedding anniversary with great food and wine. Afterwards we took in yet another beautiful Lake Michigan sunset from Lake Bluff Park. They had the Compass Fountain turned on for the first time this season. We never tire of watching Mother Nature's show...