Blue Lake lived up to its small town "center of the universe" status July 9 with its annual Annie & Mary Day parade and party to celebrate the historic Arcata and Mad River Rail Line and the A&M Railroad namesakes Annie Carroll and Mary Buckley, who worked as bookkeepers there back in the day. According to the city website, "Every year since 1967, the Blue Lake Chamber has sponsored Annie and Mary Day."
The morning began under misting fog with the owners of a great mix of vintage vehicles in the Bill Nessler Car Show lined up along Railroad Avenue next to a bake sale for the Blue Lake Museum. Humboldt County's most-fun parade, led by the volunteer fire department, then followed a loop through town, leaving a trail of tossed candy for attendees. The parade honored the self-described "Grand Marshmellows" (Terry and Jennifer Kramer, of Blue Lake) who walked with their cart of flowers while handing out seed packets.
They were followed by Blue Lake's own Old Crows and Ladies of the Lake, vintage giant puppets and masks from Dell'Arte, a huge "blue" float and giant bubbles from the Blue Lake Summer School, Shriners' clown cars and music by Bandemonium and the Highlanders Pipe Band. And horses — lots of horses — plus a volunteer pooper-scooper to clean up after them.
The all-day festival wrapped in Perigot Park with craft vendors, beverages, barbecue and other food, and live music from Fickle Hill, Dead On, Cadillac Ranch and Checkered Past.
Mark Larson (he/him) is a retired Cal Poly Humboldt journalism professor and active freelance photographer who likes to walk.