Archive for Thursday, October 14, 2004

Everyone always loves the Maple Leaf parade

October 14, 2004

Lloyd Lam believes, whether it's the marching bands, the floats or the car clubs, there should be something in the Maple Leaf Festival grand parade to amuse almost everyone.

"There's just a lot of fun stuff," Lam, parade organizer, said.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and is expected to last a little more than an hour. The parade 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 Primary Center.

He said he hopes to see several floats decorated in this year's theme of "Celebrating the Santa Fe Trail."

"I think we're going to see floats with old-time dressed folks heading west," he said. "And I hope we see a conastoga wagon or two."

He also expects to have some of the same entries in this year's parade that have made past parades favorites with festival crowds.

Included in this year's lineup are approximately 20 marching bands, including the Baker University and Baldwin High School bands, 10 to 12 floats and a number of car clubs. Also appearing in the parade will be horses and buggies, the Shriners, the Keystone Cops, fire trucks, antique tractors and local athletic teams.

Because it's an election year, Lam said he also expects to have several political candidates in the parade.

And the parade wouldn't be complete, he said, without this year's Grand Marshal, John Jackson.

Lam said there will probably be some new entries in the parade, including a barbershop quartet that will be riding on two tandem bicycles. He said the quartet will occasionally stop along the parade route to perform for parade viewers.

For the second year in a row, Bill Gray and Knute Pittenger will have the emcee duties, announcing parade entries at the corner of Eighth and High streets.

"They will do an outstanding job," Lam said.

In past years, the parade has attracted into the tens of thousands of people. He said those wanting to see the parade should plan on arriving at the festival early, well before the 11 a.m. start time.

"Show up as early as possible," he said. "Then you can enjoy the ambiance of the morning."

Expect it to be crowded, but Lam said it's worth it.

"There's good food, good crafts, a good town and a great parade," he said.

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