THE GREAT AMERICAN PARADE!
You might have heard a rather loud sigh of relief last Saturday as I announced the end of the parade in Hillsdale, Michigan. The parade started promptly at 10:00 a.m., and the volunteers on golf carts passed the final reviewing stand one hour and forty-five minutes later. In between, scores of classic and antique cars, many beauty queens and runner-ups, a world-class drum-line and a world-class drum and bugle corps from Jacksonville, Florida, graced the streets of Hillsdale.
For the most part, the long parade went off without a hitch. Unfortunately, one of the drum and bugle corps failed to show, although I don’t think anyone in the crowd really missed its presence. The remaining corps and the drum line from Grand Rapids captured the interest of the crowd and provided a high degree of entertainment. TealSound from Jacksonville, Florida, had a rather harrowing trip to Hillsdale, and the group actually arrived over 24 hours later than they had planned. One of the three buses in their entourage experienced mechanical trouble along the route causing their late arrival. Once they arrived, the enthusiastic group of about 130 people enjoyed their visit to Hillsdale—and they put on a great show during the parade.
The visiting drum line from Grand Rapids spent the night sleeping on the gymnasium floor at Reading High School. Although only 17 members strong, they had the crowd tapping their toes and clapping their hands to a strong drum beat.
This year’s parade featured several musical groups from around the area that combined to provide a variety of musical productions. A harmonica club from Perennial Park did a great job performing some numbers, Ron Landers just started singing a great religious-type song in front of the courthouse reviewing stand when his generator (and thus his microphone) died due to a lack of gasoline! However, Ron quickly filled the generator with gas, pulled the starter, and resumed his great singing...barely missing a beat! Jason Adams, from Union City, Michigan, and his “Wanted” country band were the favorites of many of the folks attending the Great American Parade.
Bill Heffner, an Elvis impersonator, worked the crowd (much like the real Elvis did quite a few years ago) along the side of Hillsdale city hall,
while Uncle Carl’s Dulcimer Band once again performed from the stage in front of the county courthouse. Since I’m typing this column basically by memory, I may have missed some other entries that presented musical selections this year. If I did, you have my sincere apologies.
On page 22 of today’s FRANK TALK, we list the names of sponsors that helped us present this outstanding event.
I would like to personally thank each of you from around the entire tri-state area that came to enjoy the Great American Parade.
To see photo's from the 2005 Parade click on the link below.