Spring. Parade Season. Lets face it, I’ve photographed more parades than I can actually remember. My feet tremble this time of year.

It’s a lot of walkin’ bro.

It all started with the Lucerne Alpine Day’s Parade in 1981 and then some sort of parade the next weekend in Lakeport.

In the years since, my parade belt has grown. While working in west Texas, there was the El Paso Sun Bowl Parade in 1985 (that wasn’t spring though, but it was 90 degrees on that January day). The Sesquicentennial parade in 1986 in Midland (106 that day), complete with an appearance by George Bush (Sr.). There were parades in San Angelo and Odessa, Stanton, Lamesa and Big Spring to name a few, even one in Lubbock. I hazily remember two dozen more, but my synapses’ have long since been fried.

Then I was hired in the big Kahuna, Santa Rosa.

We live in parade central. We love parades here in Sonoma County. Wanna celebrate? Let’s have a parade!

Of course, I jest. Parades identify a community. They are annual rituals that kick off Spring and jump start our growing season. We shake off the winter rains, say hello to our neighbors, put on shorts and celebrate the coming of Summer.

On Saturday there were two. The Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade and the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade.

I have to tell you, getting the name of the Petaluma PBAEDP correct took me nearly 15 years to master. I must’ve heard it mispronounced 118 times Saturday.

Oh well, life’s a parade.

The Butter and Egg Days Parade gets underway in Petaluma, Saturday April 24, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

Maurice Edmonds of the Plumfield Academy for Boys makes like Mardi Gras, during the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade, Saturday April 24, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

Alex Johnson of the Petaluma Riding and Driving Drill Club team participates in the Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade, Saturday April 24, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

United States Coast Guard cadets from the Two Rock Coast Guard training base prepare to march in the Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade, Saturday April 24, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

Sydnie Parr, left, enlists the help of Cynthia Pantoja, middle and Kathleen Alves, to adjust her tiara. The three were part of the court for the Sebastopol Portuguese Holy Ghost Society entry in to the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade, Saturday April 24, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

Scott Finley of Rohnert Park helps to carry the American flag as he and the Sons of the Golden West in Marin, walk the parade route during the Petaluma Butter and Egg Days Parade, Saturday April 24, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

Fore more photos, click here.

Up next? The Human Race in two weeks and the Rose Parade in the middle of May.

Ouch.

-Kent Porter