Brule Day has always represented the nearing end of summer for me. I grew up on a farm outside of in Brule, Nebraska, population 411. Brule Day is always on the first Saturday in August. It's one day to celebrate community - with a breakfast, parade, lunch, kids' games and a beer garden and dance. When I was younger, we'd participate in the parade and the kids' games, go home and work on the farm, and return to Brule for the street dance (held in the fire station a block from my grandparents' house). I didn't return to Brule Day for years - until I had kids of my own.
Now, Brule Day boasts a 5K in the morning in addition to the other activities. Many Bruligans (a nickname given to people from Brule by my sister-in-law's sister) participate along with many former Bruligans. Now, most of the kids who gather candy at the parade are out-of-towners - children of children who grew up in Brule.
Benny and I have traveled home for every Brule since he was one. Nate accompanies us if it works out. And now Lila does too. I've run in almost every 5K with my oldest and dearest friend since returning (only missing one year when I was pregnant with Lila). The kids enjoy the parade, lunch and penny toss before we head back to my parents' house for naps. Some day, I hope they can participate in the kids' games.
It's fun to give the kids a taste of small-town life. And it's great to reconnect with friends from high school and their families once a year.