Parade is a big draw
It features some of the same things every year. There are marching bands and floats and antique cars and horses, typical of almost any parade.
But regardless of the familiarity, the Maple Leaf Festival grand parade continues to attract thousands of people, and this year won't be any different.
"It brings in a ton of folks," Lloyd Lam, parade organizer, said. "They're everywhere."
The parade, which will start at the east end of High Street, work its way west to Eighth Street and then head north where it will end at the Baldwin Elementary School, is set to begin at 11 a.m. and last about an hour.
This year's parade theme is Look Who's In Our Neighborhood. Lam said the theme is to recognize those who do so much for the community.
"There's an awful lot of folks that do an awful lot around here that isn't recognized," he said.
That includes, he said, scouts, ministers, police and fire personnel and volunteers, like the Grand Marshals, Darrell and Annie Bowersox.
"Baldwin being the small town that it is," he said, "we are a neighborhood."
Lam said he has already received entries for eight floats, a mounted color guard, an American Legion group that will display all of the past American flags, horses and old buggies and 15-17 bands, including the Baker University band. Other bands include junior high and high school students.
Also part of the parade will be four political candidates, including Tom Holland and Ralph Tanner, both who are running for a seat in the 10th District in the Kansas House of Representatives.
Lam said he was surprised there were only four political candidates in the parade.
"I'm very surprised at the lack of candidates. I expected there would be more," he said. "But that could change."
As always, Ron Nelson will be the parade emcee at Eighth and High streets.
Lam said he encouraged people to arrive early, around 10 a.m., in order to get parked and find seats along the parade route. It will be crowded, but he said it's worth it.
"This parade thing is fun," he said.
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