TAKOMA PARK – It was shaping up to be an historic 130th annual Fourth of July parade. The rain was predicted to hold off, children were dressed up in their red, white and blue outfits, and State Delegate David Moon was eagerly waiting to hand out Old Bay Seasoning packets.
Then disaster struck.
In the wee hours of the morning, a large oak tree fell on the 7300 block of Maple Avenue, right in the middle of the course, just hours before the beginning of the parade. Takoma Park Public Works did all they could to remedy the situation, until the City Arborist arrived on the crime scene.
After securing the area with caution tape, metal fencing, and 6″ of wood chip mulch, he drew a chalk outline around the trunk and called in the County Coroner and the Takoma Park Police Department’s top detectives.
“I couldn’t rule out a homicide,” stated the Arborist. “I assessed that tree myself just two weeks ago and determined that it was perfectly healthy. I’m never wrong.”
The Takoma Park Police were on the scene immediately, taking several samples for evidence and interviewing key witnesses.
“I heard a loud crash and immediately looked out of the window,” stated Michael Garner. “I saw a person running away from the scene in Birkenstocks and a tie-dye shirt heading east toward Philadelphia Avenue.”
Takoma Torch decided to interview Philadelphia Avenue residents to see if they saw anyone suspicious around the time of the accident. Oddly, everyone questioned repeated the same denial.
“I didnt see anything,” stated Debrah Green, as she hastily installed Fourth of July decorations on the light pole in front of her house. “Sorry, I really need to get this work done before 10am.”
Michael Fernandez, carrying several lawn chairs down from his porch steps, responded, “I don’t know anything about a fallen tree on Maple Avenue. I actually need to go as I have to call all my friends to invite them over.”
The Torch notes that our reporter never mentioned a fallen tree or the name of the street to Fernandez.
Needing more time to solve the case, The Takoma Park Public Works Department shut down the 7300 block of Maple Avenue. At 7:36 am, they announced a route change, redirecting the parade down Philadelphia Avenue. By 7:40 am, Phildadelphia Avenue was already fully decorated in American Flags and red, white, and blue decor.
“It was impressive!” exclaimed the Takoma Park Parade Director. “It was as if Phildelphia residents knew there would be a route change to their street.”
Several other Philadelphia residents were seen flooding the Co-Op and other local establishments the night before, purchasing large quantities of beer and wine, as well as American Flags.
Even though the route change drastically shortened this year’s parade, residents and participants alike still felt it was a major success for the city.
“Honestly, it was probably better that it was a shorter parade,” said Adrian White. “I can’t imagine being County Councilmember Hans Riemer wearing those red, white, and blue pants on this super hot and humid day.”
It remains a mystery how the giant oak tree fell on Maple Avenue that 4th of July morning. Still, some refuse to believe it was just an accident.
“It’s an inside job,” stated Fred Lowe of the 9/11 Truthers. “We’re dropping out from this year’s parade and will now be dedicating all of our time to prove it.”