Tuesday July 05, 2011 | 12:23 PM

I'm sorry to say it - and don't mean to offend any Girl Scout troops, marching bands, beauty queens, aspiring politicians or go cart-driving Shriners - but parades have lost their luster.

It's not that I don't still love diving for candy tossed by strangers from passing pickup trucks, but when a grown woman starts knocking children out of the way for a tangerine sucker and a "Brush your teeth" temporary tattoo, the locals tend to disapprove...even though I clearly called "dibs" when the float was approaching.

Apparently only the "under 10" crowd is allowed to scramble for gum in the road - or to release the contents of a Super Soaker onto other people's grandparents.

Parade-goers can be so judge-y.

Unless you're in Round Pond on July 4.

The people of Round Pond have been hosting an Independence Day parade for years - one that started small but now attracts a hearty crowd - that's low on pageant winners on high on political incorrectness (and a few curse words thrown in for good measure).

My colleague Aimsel Ponti wrote a preview of this year's Round Pond Parade in last week's Press Herald, complete with photo of "Bottle Bill" and his milk carton brassiere.

It was the first I'd heard of it (how? How had I not heard of it?!?) but it was love at first float.

I think it's best now to just let the photos tell the rest:

 

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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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