I’m still sunburned, but it was worth it.

The Melba Olde Tyme Fourth of July committee and other volunteers put on an eventful day for children and other event attendees. The day started at 7 a.m. with the fun run, followed by the parade, live entertainment, a tractor pull, a car show, the chicken roundup, horseshoes and other activities, and it ended at dusk with a fireworks show that was sure to make Lloyd Stubbs proud.

I knew enough to get there at least half an hour early to park and stake out an ideal spot to take in the parade. Standing near the elementary school field, just feet away from the portapotties adjacent to city hall, I felt memorable childlike excitement when I heard the siren, followed shortly by the sheriff’s car, clearing the way for the parade.

I dodged water and sailing candy as pristine green or orange antique tractors and bright red, yellow and other painted classic cars drove past. I was delighted by the men on stilts and awed by the artistic, large metal animals. And I couldn’t help but notice there were a lot of “Melba-inspired” floats.

Those who spotted the end of the parade before I did swarmed down the hill to Cook’s or the food trucks, offering burgers, 14-inch long “monster” corn dogs, kettle corn and other classics. I wolfed down a bratwurst while watching the Oyamel Folklore Dancers twirl their white, purple, green, pink or yellow dresses. The bratwurst was pretty good, and, during the live entertainment, I even saw boys toss swords.

The most fun, though, was walking around the Melba school field and seeing children riding around in a small train or hearing others shriek as they were whirled upside down on the ride. I enviously watched as children and youth squeezed into bubbles and got rolled around or bounced into each other.

I didn’t dare try my hand at horseshoes, for the safety of myself and others.

Before I knew it, it was time for the chicken roundup. I came around a tad late, and by that point the ring was circled with layers of families shouting encouragement to their children as they ran, stretched, slid and dove for a chicken.

While some participants sadly came out empty-handed, a few stopped just long enough for me to take their picture, then hurried off with their prize.

From the heat to the fun, I’m sure I’ll remember this day. Here’s a thank you to everyone, sponsors and volunteers alike, who put on this community event. It did not disappoint.

Alx George is the IPT education reporter. Contact her at 465-8178 or ageorge@idahopress.com. Follow @missalxgeorge.

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