Wednesday, March 21, 2018

One parade down, three to go

The subject of my letter is parades. Kudos to the community of Fishtail.
What does it take to have a parade? First, a community with a purpose for an event. Organizers, volunteers, participants, spectators, announcer, judges (maybe) – a whole lot of team work. The annual Fishtail Family Fun Days supports the Fishtail Community Center and Park properties (not owned by the county).
What makes up a parade? Kidding parade, flags (American, Montana, VFW) – their presence heads the parade. Hot rods, classic cars, floats from organizations, horse groups including horse/mule pulled rigs, school band.
This was my first time to be a part of their parade. The joint efforts of Stillwater Republican Women and Stillwater Republican Central Committee – we made it happen. Our entry was a sleek black Mustang GT – lots of horsepower under the hood – a convertible with the top down along with second means of transportation referred to as the “gator” – John Deere unit furnished by newly elected County Commissioner for District 2 Mark Crago.
This event is advertised as a one block 2-mile parade. Now, I fully understand the meaning. In the spirit of “physical fitness,” my sidekick Karen agreed to walk the one block with our banner (attaching to the Mustang was not an option) followed by both vehicles. Mark’s two daughters supplied the bystanders with candy from the gator, as did Jay from the Mustang.
On the return route, Karen and I opted to sit up on the back seat (permission granted) and hold the sign about “Politics and Eggs Breakfast-Montana Style” hosted by SRW. Upon approaching the platform of the announcer and judges, we learned that our entry received a trophy – Best Open Class. On behalf of our group, thank you Fishtail.
If you go to the Stillwater County Chamber of Commerce website and check their calendar, you will learn where the other three parades will take place. I just read a posting on Facebook that the Chamber has formed a subcommittee to discuss Columbus having a parade this year in the fall. Constitution Day is on Sept. 17th. A good reason to have a parade.
Memories of my past parades – I was a 4-H Horse Leader with a young group of riders that took part in about three parades within the county. Commitment from both the kids and parents made their participation a success. In addition, for about 15 to 20 years in my banking career, my staff and I had entries in a number of parades – again, the willingness to make the time to be involved.
So, will there be four parades this year in Stillwater County? Once upon a time, Columbus did have a parade.
I personally enjoyed meeting some of the members of the Al Bedoo Shrine’s Black Horse Patrol from Billings on Saturday. And then there was “Batman.”

Shirlee Keffer