Redwood Firemen's Field Days Parade 2014

Better Farm's WINNING float!
The most wonderful time of year has come and gone yet again in Redwood, N.Y.—the Redwood Firemen's Field Days.

Three days each August for the last 56 years, Redwood and neighboring hamlets and towns come together to support Redwood's Volunteer Fire Department at the organization's biggest fundraiser of the year. An auction, barbecue, carnival, parade, live bands, and and tons of merriment are among the main—but not only—attractions at the event.

The Redwood Volunteer Fire Department does much, much more in the community than putting out fires. These men and women are pillars of North Country culture; coming out to support other organizations, offering neighborly services to people near and far, and giving their time selflessly at events throughout the region. These folks even helped to hose down the Better Mud Run course back in July.

Better Farm has developed a particular fondness for the Field Days Parade, held during the last evening of Field Days and boasting a cavalcade of antique cars, fire trucks, and floats for organizations, businesses, political candidates, nursery schools, and more. We've been in the parade every year since 2009; and each year, we've inched higher on the totem pole as we scored third place in 2010,  second place in 2012 and 2013. This was our year! But it would take a whole lot of preparation...

Like, about 40 years' worth. Here's the Better Farm float in a parade back in 1974-ish:
We opted to repeat that theme with a stars-and-stripes motif on our float and in our outfits. For half of our float participants, we used striped fabric and stars to make Uncle Sam costumes:

For the ladies on the float, we decided to invoke some Rosie the Riveter spirit:

Here we all are putting the final touches on the float and heading downtown:

...and here's the parade in motion!

Thank you Redwood Volunteer Fire Department for all you do! See Better Farm's full Redwood Field Days album by clicking here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.