Monday, October 5, 2009
FALL FOLIAGE FESTIVAL PARADE
Our sister town of NORTH ADAMS had it's 54th Annual FALL FOLIAGE FESTIVAL Parade yesterday (Sunday, October 4th) and yours truly volunteered to be a "Banner Carrier". The banners depict businesses that support the parade and encourages parade viewers to patronize and credit these places for their kindness and financial contribution.
It was a wonderful perspective being IN the parade (that's my big smiling face on the left). I got to view people and scenery not possible from just watching from the sidelines or driving in a car.
The parade took over 2 hours to complete, starting in the WalMart parking lot on Rte 8 and finishing up at the end of Ashland Street in North Adams downtown.
It took tons of planning and organization, so a big Kudos to the folks on the committee who pulled it all together. I saw loads of staff with clipboards and walkie-talkies working hard to ensure that every group entered the parade in the sequence planned, vehicles were dispatched to the right place at the right time, and the workers were given water and snacks (yay!). Things went smoothly because of their efforts.
Just the division in charge of the 70+ banner carriers had quite a lot on their hands. Most of the carriers were kids and high schoolers (and me), so had to be watched over from 10:30 meeting time until the parade started at 1pm.
Banners had to be assigned and carriers placed in front of marching groups in sequence. I was near the end of the parade, so got to photograph the floats and bands just as they were just starting up.
Here are the photos I want to share with you.
Staffers at the "Banner Zone" were kind, helpful and VERY organized!
Each Banner Carrier got a T Shirt in the Autumn color of their choice, (sponsored by Hoosic Bank).
Bagpipers warmed up their lungs and the littlest piper practiced his screeches.
American Legion members joked on the bus.
Suited up fancy!
Senator Downing brought his dog Molly for her first parade. This is his 40-somethingth parade!
Bands lined up to play.
A clown bikes into position.
The Boy Scouts had an award winning float depicting maple trees. and their many uses. Really nice work!
The beautiful Clydesdale Horses drew the Budweiser Wagon down rte 8. The sun came out and the wagon glistened a brilliant red!
State Rep Daniel Bosley (top right side) rode with the dog! It's 16 feet high off the ground. The dalmation dog is traditionally there on the Bud wagon to protect the horses from animals along the road during rides and to protect the beer wagon stock from theft when the driver makes a delivery.
Don't they think of everything! This is the OFFICIAL CLYDESDALE HORSE POOPER SCOOPER following behind the wagon...gawd bless him!
The PEACE TRAIN and followers were a hit with the crowd.
The ladies pageant float...
Love the "doo" on this car!
Sing along to some Patriotic melodies with UNCLE SAM'S CHORUS. I love how the photographer on the left of the float is crooning away!
This group makes me hungry! There was also a "package of bologna" person (not shown).
Mass MoCA did a terrific job on this float that looks like a Banana Split with North Adams landmarks for sprinkles.
Speciel Forces is a group that helps folks with physical and mental challenges. My banner fell into place and I marched behind them the whole way.
The Brownies were adorable.
There were police color guards and units and several firetrucks with sirens blaring, and this antique water cart.
Here are some street and crowd views. It is estimated that around 20,000 people came out to attend this year's parade! I found them to be happy, friendly folks, waving and cheering us on. : )
There were some great floats! I loved the lobster that squirted water! There were people walking around it with fish on poles and even a pirate.
The apple pie wagon said AUTUMNated TECH, lol. I loved the bar float too. Yep, a bar serving customers. Must be a North Adams thing!
I loved watching the CLOGGERS from Bennington. They were gettin down to a Bob Seger song "Old Time Rock n Roll".
Green River Farms had a horse drawn wagon. Cool!
Check out the gals on the unicycles! Wow!
The Shriners do an incredible job of entertaining the crowds with their mini cars and great bands! There was a motorcycle rally and a go-cart daredevil ramp they drove up and down. Really fun to watch. These guys have a great sense of humor too!
As we proceeded over the bridge on rte 8, the huge band behind us had to squish tightly into each other to fit!
After we got back on the road and took the corner up to MAIN STREET, the band spread out to it's full magnificance.
Main Street looked beautiful!
Here is the Grandstand from the parade marchers view.
At the end of the parade, we had to walk back to the start point. Here, a lonely balloon salesman walks back to his truck after a hard day's work.
It was a great experience and I had a terrific time! Got a little sunburned and blistered feet, but SO WORTH IT!