Parade Participants Enjoy the Camaraderie

Charlie Wix cleaned up after the horses in the Idyllwild Parade

Idyllwild’s Annual Independence Day Parade has been going on for more than 30 years now. Few small towns in the U.S. still host parades, but Idyllwild attracts the tourists, locals and volunteers like Charlie Wix who support it.

For the past three years, Wix has been scooping poop after the horses in the parade. One would think that he got drafted, but he said that he enjoyed it.

“Are you kidding me? It’s great!” Wix said. “Everyone cheers you on!”

He remembers one time, however, when a friend from Idyllwild Heating was tauting him, so he faked him out.

“I grabbed a handful of candy, and reached down into the wheelbarrow full of horse manure, and pretended that I was picking it up,” Charlie explained. “When I threw the candy at him, you should have seen him duck and run!”

For Saturday’s parade, however, Wix has retired his pooper scooper.

“I’m going to be sitting on the sidelines like everyone else, and enjoy the parade,” he said.

Earlier this year, a heart attack sidelined Wix, but now that he’s got the “green light” from his doctor, he’s ready to get back to work. He’s a popular van driver for for the students at Idyllwild Arts.

Charlie's house reflects his patriotic spirit

Besides the horses, marching bands and organizational floats, they’ll be plenty of “colorful” locals in the parade, including Raye De Ross, and her belly dancing troupe, “The Outskirts.”

Anyone who has been to a parade knows there’s a lot of standing around, waiting for everyone to catch up, but that’s when the parade announcers get creative and talk about the participants and past shows.

Gone are most of the corvette and other car clubs.

“Guess they don’t want to spend the gas to get up here,” Charlie said.

And the beautiful rescue greyhounds are no longer participating. Not because of money, but because of the heat.

“It’s too hot for them to walk on the pavement,” Charlie said.

Charlie isn’t the kind of guy that will sit on the sidelines for long. If he’s not cleaning up behind the horses, he’ll be helping out in some other manner.

Idyllwild Independence Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 3rd, at the top of North Circle Drive, then winds down to the center of town. For more information, call the Idyllwild Rotary at (951) 659-4957.

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Parade Charlie House

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