Column: Parade is something specialIs anyone else in Farmington as amazed as I am by the Dew Days parade? Seriously. In the 30-some-year run of Mountain Dew Days/Dew Days/Rambling River Days/Dew Days, not once has the grand parade been cancelled. Not once. It’s been postponed, but it’s never been called off. I think that’s amazing.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Is anyone else in Farmington as amazed as I am by the Dew Days parade?
Seriously. In the 30-some-year run of Mountain Dew Days/Dew Days/Rambling River Days/Dew Days, not once has the grand parade been cancelled. Not once. It’s been postponed, but it’s never been called off. I think that’s amazing.
I mean, there I was, sitting at my desk Saturday afternoon, watching the pouring rain from the big windows at the front of our building. Well, actually, I was watching all the people outside scramble to stay dry, and watching all of the Dew Days rib cookoff contestants try to hold down the edges of their tents, but you get the picture.
Anyway, it was just before 4 p.m., and I was really wondering whether the parade was going to go off this year, or if it was going to be postponed, or even cancelled. I’d been watching the weather radar on my cell phone, and it looked like the storm cell was passing over, but the skies were sure gray and there was a whole lot of rain falling hard and fast.
And then, magically, at exactly 3:57 p.m., it stopped. The clouds parted, blue sky peeked out, and that heavy rain storm just went away. Unbelievable.
So, I venture down to the parade route. Some years, I’ve had a seat with friends and their kids, a few years I brought my niece along, and there were a few years in there where now-police chief Brian Lindquist and I both took in the parade at the corner of Third and Spruce streets. This year, I was just planning to walk up and down Third Street so I could get multiple shots of some of the units.
My plan was working pretty well, too – I got a few pictures of the color guard, I took several pictures of the FHS marching band. Made grand marshal Russ Zellmer smile and wave for the camera. Good stuff like that.
I was walking alongside the Our Family Foods truck when it hit a low-hanging power line. I mean, I was right next to the power line when this happened. I, and everyone else around me, heard a big “boom!” That was followed by what I first thought was someone shooting off bottle rockets down by the library. It turns out, there were sparks shooting from another power line.
Huh. It turns out, I wasn’t in a very safe place, at all. I skedaddled right out of that area.
The parade came to a stop. A couple of the firefighters came back to see what was going on, then they started to clear the area. I called Dew Days co-chair Darla Donnelly to let her know there was a slight hang-up, so to speak.
“Um,” I said, “there’s something you should know about….”
Ten minutes later, the whole area between Spruce and Walnut had been evacuated, parade goers were wedged in between parked cars along Walnut Street, and Fourth Street became the hot spot for seating. I’ve heard some people weren’t necessarily happy with the move, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
As for me, well, I didn’t get as many pictures of the parade as I’d hoped. I was distracted with the whole semi vs. power line thing, but I did manage to catch a good portion of the parade all the same.
Afterward, I was visiting with Julie McKnight, who organizes the parade. She told me this year’s parade had 94 units. That’s the most the Dew Days parade has ever had. And even with the semi incident and the re-routing, the parade was less than two hours in length, which is pretty good – not too short, not too long.
But am I off-base in thinking the Dew Days parade is something kind of special? I mean, Mother Nature let up the rains, and even a semi hitting a power line isn’t enough to stop that parade from happening. I just think that’s a pretty cool thing.