Franklin County Fair parade delights — even when wet

  • Rick Roy and Kay Lyons of the Friends of the Greenfield Public Library. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • Paul Mark and Natalie Blais march in the Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • Clarence the Comfort Dog leads the Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. September 6, 2018. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ—Paul Franz...

  • 4H rides in The Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • The Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • The Greenfield High School Band march in The Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. September 6, 2018. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ—Paul Franz...

  • Ja'Duke performers march in The Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. September 6, 2018. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ—

  • The Franklin County Sheriff's Department color guard march in The Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. September 6, 2018. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ—

  • The Greenfield High School Band march in The Franklin County Fair Parade on Thursday. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 9/7/2018 12:06:07 AM

GREEENFIELD — It may rain on a parade, but people will take a shine to watching one. And that’s what happened Thursday, as hundreds gathered along downtown streets to watch and march in the parade that kicked off the 170th Franklin County Fair — despite a late afternoon downpour.

There was no stopping the precession, which began at the Greenfield Middle School and concluded at the Wisdom Way fairgrounds, where entries are judged, even as watchers were lining the streets, holding umbrellas or standing under trees to stay dry.

First time parade participants, from the Huckle Hill Happy Horses of Bernardston said they were thrilled when asked to walk in the parade.

Holly Shockro said the recently established 4-H group was asked to be a part of the parade and she’s proud to show off the group — which was dressed up like a herd of horses.

“We not only want to support the parade, but show off our group of young horse enthusiasts,” Shockro said. “We’re happy they’re a pretty large group.”

Maddy Oldenburg, another member of the group, said Shockro and her did 4-H when they were younger, and it says a lot that they cared enough to start their own.

“We got a lot out of it and we wanted to give back to our kids,” Oldenburg said. “Now we get to show them off at the parade.”

This year’s theme is “Bring The Whole Herd,” and with more than 95 entries to the parade, there was certainly a herd. Marchers included a variety of non-profits, agricultural organizations, local businesses, marching bands and others.

Ella Potee, a junior Pioneer Valley Regional High School drum major, said the marching band has been marching in the parade as long as she can remember.

“We enjoy doing it, we have a strong marching band and we work really hard, so we like people to see that,” Potee said. “All of our music is memorized, we had two weeks to memorize it.”

Kiana McGraw, a senior drum major, said regardless of the weather, the band always performs.

“We like to be a part of it. To represent people whether they are students or alumni or just representing people from the area,” McGraw said.

Performers from the YMCA Tumbling Tigers, Paloma Cruz and Marqarette Howland, said they were looking forward to a performance of their own.

“I’m really excited to do a performance at the senior center,” Howland said. “We go to the parking lot and do a private show for them. I look forward to it every year.”

Cruz said she was excited because of the stunts they got to do.

“We’re doing cartwheels, hand stands, the splits and a free for all,” Cruz said. “It’s really exciting to do.”

A group from Baystate Franklin Medical Center marched as well.

A spokeswoman for Baystate Franklin, Molly Macmunn, said they march every year to be involved in the community.

“We like to walk through our community and see all of our neighbors,” Macmunn said. “We like the community we serve and we want them to see us.”

Parade watchers came for various reasons — whether it was their family or simply because they come every year.

Evan Brocklesby said he came so his children could see the parade.

“We come every year, but its for the kids,” Brocklesby said. “Personally, I like to see the tractors, horses and the marching bands — I love the marching bands.”

Deb Lapinski said she likes to come to the parade every year to see the horses.

“I also like to see people I know, but I don’t get to see often,” Lapinski said.

Trevor Lapinksi said he likes to do the same thing.

“I like the candy, the old cars and the candy, too,” Trevor Lapinski said.

The four-day fair continues today through Sunday.


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