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Man-size turnout for kids parade

Donna Daniels

The “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it” rule did not apply Thursday.

Carbondale’s 26th annual July 4th Kids Parade was long and strong.

In past years, a dearth of kids has prompted parade organizers to run them around the block for a second pass down Main Street. But this year the kids turned out in droves, as did moms and dads and dogs, and a siren-screaming, horn-honking police car, ambulance, and fire trucks.

Showing their true Yankee Doodle spirit, the kids were decked out in the good old Red, White and Blue as they made their way on bikes, trikes, scooters, inline skates and on foot down Carbondale’s Main Street from Second to Fourth streets.

Just before the kick-off time of 10 a.m., the kids lined up in front of the Solar Energy International and KDNK building on Second Street while organizer Annie Runyan Worley whipped them into parade shape.

With a tangle of red, white and blue flowers bobbing atop her head, Worley exhorted, cajoled and hustled her kids into line.

“Are you walking?” she asked one little girl. “You need to go way back with the walkers.”

Parents recorded the melee with video cameras, and tried to keep the kids in one spot.

Little ones sported star-shaped shades and tall floppy flag hats.

Chris “Mr. Carbondale” Chacos did not successfully disguise his friendly face behind Groucho glasses, mustache and nose.

With everyone in place at the magic hour of 10, the Carbondale police, fire and ambulance led off the parade with screaming sirens.

“It’s a bona fide motorcade,” said one onlooker.

They were followed by members of the Carbondale Cub Scout Pack 235. Carrying the colors was veteran Bob Schenck decked out in flag regalia.

As the parade rounded the corner, folks were still streaming up to the Main Street viewing spots where they could catch the best view.

Hands down, position A for viewing was from the deck of the Village Smithy which overlooks Main Street. There spectators enjoyed breakfast and had a perfect view of the parade.

Main Street looked its summer best with its new face lift. Leafy trees, old style lamp posts, benches and brick street crossing pavement added to the historic charm of downtown.

Among the hundreds of kids who marched in this year’s parade, there was a trick trike rider who managed to get separated from the trike pack and had to do some fancy riding to catch up.

A little girl marched with a dog larger than herself. In fact, there were loads of dogs, some sporting flag scarves and sun shades.

A little girl piloted a big play Jeep with pink wheels and a little boy pedaled a horsey bike while struggling to see out from under an enormous helmet.

There were trains of wagons holding kids, and scooters and skates, spangles and sequins, fancy hats and capes and painted faces.

All in all, it was one of Carbondale’s best Fourth of July Parades.


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