Plaza Parade Of Arms Explodes Expectations – April 1, 1953
APRIL 1, 1953 – Weeks of preparation paid off last weekend with an all-day celebration of America’s – and Arcata’s – commitment to a weapons-rich future.
The Plaza Parade of Arms drew thousands to the town square, permanently cementing Arcata’s reputation for all time as a bastion of staunch, pro-military patriotism.
As nuclear bombers flew in formation overhead, legions of marchers paraded down H Street brandishing banners and replicas of items in Arcata’s anti-communist arsenal.
The event had been weeks in the making, with local schoolkids crafting papier mâché replicas of missiles between duck-and-cover exercises.
Mayor Shawn Brunton was unable to attend, pleading that, “I have to be in our nation’s capital on business, or have to wash my hair or polish my gerbil, or something.”
But the mayor’s absence didn’t dampen spirits. A brass band blared, flags fluttered and banners proclaimed patriotic slogans, including “Don’t Trifle With My Rifle!” “Peace Through War!” and “Mo’ Nukes!”
After the patriotic display, attendees repaired to the Arcata Ball Park for Yellowcake Cake and a dip in the Patriotic Crater Pool.
The pool had been filled with water drawn from the cooling pond at the new McKinleyville Nuclear Power Plant.
Swimmers emerged from the permanently-warmed waters refreshed and all aglow.