Parades line up with real spirit

December 05, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A recipe for a town holiday parade in a temperate climate should include several of the following, in no particular order:

1) Bands, marching ones preferred.

2) Clowns, or at least funny-looking people.

3) Loud - sometimes painfully so - firetrucks and/or ambulances.

4) New cars.

5) Old cars.

6) Young kids.

7) Not-so-young kids.

8) Free candy.


9) Floats carrying actors, children, pets or stuffed animals with some sort of North Pole motif. (Note for the eperts: Floats can be pulled by horses or other large-hoofed animals for a more natural effect.)

10) Decorations, preferably green and scarlet alternating, and pine-scented with glitter trimming, but not too much so as to get caught in wind-blown hairdos.

Pick a town, sprinkle the ingredients liberally. It also is preferable to use a cool, but sunny day, although snowflakes are welcome.

People who watched and participated in holiday parades in two such towns - Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Charles Town, W.Va. - that followed these directions were quite happy with the results Saturday.

Doug Inkley, 50, who lives near Boonsboro, rode in Shepherdstown's parade in his 5-foot-6-inch unicycle down West German Street. He is a member of the Morris Dancing group, also based in Shepherdstown, and wore black clothing except for a red vest and a red necktie, as well as bells on his ankles.

Inkley said he particularly was pleased with the reaction he received from spectators as he crossed back and forth across the street. He did not fall.

"I was pleasantly surprised," Inkley said. "Everybody clapped and cheered. ... The kids go 'Wow!'"

Karen Green, 48, of Shepherdstown, watched as a band passed on West German Street.

"It could be bigger," Green said, but "the bands were good."

Larry Dellinger, 51, of York, Pa., was selling balloons, stuffed animals, cap guns, plastic trumpets, cotton candy and expanding plastic stick balls from a cart he was pushing down West Washington Street in Charles Town during that town's parade Saturday.

Dellinger had a steady flow of customers, and he said the weather was helping.

"It don't always happen that way," Dellinger said.

Dellinger's brisk business was another man's obstruction, however, as someone called from the crowd, "Come on, man! Get your junk out the way!"

As a school marching band from Charles Town pounded down West Washington Street, Cody Dorsey, 9, of Martinsburg, W.Va., orchestrated his own beat with his hands in the air along with the beat of the band's drums. His grin betrayed his feelings about the way this recipe turned out.

Which part did Dorsey like? Dorsey answered: "Him" and "him," pointing to the youthful band members. Was he having a good time? "Yeah!"

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