Children’s parade is popular, too
Consider it the opening act for the grand parade.
The Maple Leaf Festival's annual children's parade is slated to run again this year in downtown Baldwin at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, just 15 minutes before the start of the grand parade.
This year's children's parade theme is the same as the grand parade, "Celebrating the Santa Fe Trail."
Nancy Crisp, children's parade coordinator, said she hoped the theme would create good costumes.
"I think it's an easy theme that will be fun for the kids," she said. "They can dress as cowboys or pioneer women or something like that."
Children ages 12 and younger interested in being in the parade are encouraged to have a costume or "vehicle," like a wagon or bicycle, decorated to fit the theme.
"You don't have to dress to the theme, but it is encouraged," she said. "We're hoping kids dress up in period costumes."
Participants, which in recent years have numbered around 40, will be judged on creativity, originality and how they relate to the theme. Monetary prizes will be given to the top three winners. Every participant will receive a goody bag, complete with a ticket to the obstacle course in the Kids Zone, for being a part of the parade.
Those interested in participating in the contest can register beginning at 10 a.m. in front of the Baldwin First United Methodist Church at Eighth and Grove streets. Judging will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.
The parade will begin shortly after judging at Eighth and Grove streets, wind its way to High Street and finish at Seventh Street.
Leading the parade this year will be the petite marshal, Fox Winkeler. Crisp said he was the second-place winner in last year's parade, and has been a top-three placer the last five years.
She said she hoped for a large turnout, both in parade participants and viewers.
"I think it's fun for the kids," she said. "And it's nice entertainment for people waiting for the (grand) parade to start."