Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stockyard Days

The town where we live (also the community where I grew up) got its beginning as a stockyard hub in the 1880's and though it ceased to be a stockyard town only some 20 years later, our little city continues to honor the industry upon which it was founded with it's annual Stockyard Days celebration each August.

We don't normally take in much of the festival, but we always go to the parade! This year's Stockyard Days parade was held this evening - I snapped a few shots of my favorite parade participants:

Pletscher's Greenhouse - Though they aren't the fanciest float, they are definitely the classiest act in the annual parade. Employees with armloads of roses follow the wagon and give one to each woman at the parade. (I'm a bit partial to these folks, anyway, as I worked at this greenhouse one summer during college).

A creative representation from the local mosquito control people.

The marching band from my old high school - and a fine band they are! Most years it seems that the band merely vamps as it passes by us (you know what I mean: that click-step-click-step thing they do between numbers. One year the parade was interrupted by a train and the band stood there click-stepping at the tracks for a REALLY long time!) Anyway, marching bands are always a highlight of any parade for me.

As with lots of town festivals, the "royalty" from other area town festivals come for the parade. I have no attachment to th town of Big Lake - but I just thought it was really funny that these lovelies had to ride atop a really big baked potato.

The KrackerJacks - I LOVE these guys and look forward to them every year. They are a little drum ensemble who can juggle their sticks and throw candy without missing a beat! (And they don't stop for that "click-step" stuff, either.) I think they have the most fun of all the participants.

This is Bernado, a 13-foot, 1500 pound Hereford bull. His presence in the Stockyard Days parade needs no explanation.