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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Waving and Smiling:That's A Parade!

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Friday, September 29, 2006

From left, Gracie O'Connell, Alex Babcock, Delaney Babcock and their St. Patrick's Day float.
North Adams - The city's downtown was a kaleidoscope of cultures and fantasies on Sept. 29 as this year's young Fall Foliage Festival Children's Parade participants gathered on Eagle Street and showed off their leprechaun outfits, Irish lassie pinafores and petticoats, colorful kimonos, dragon "scales," and other clever costumes.

Floats were included in the parade line-up, including a tribute to a Hawaiian Christmas, a wagon filled with Thanksgiving bounty, and several wagons occupied by toddlers who traveled "incognito."


Emily Savory and Brianna Gray waved to the Main Street spectators.
The parade theme was "Holidays Around the Globe," which is the theme of the Oct. 1 51st Fall Foliage Festival Parade. Children's Parade first-and second-place finishers are invited to march during the Sunday event.

The Children's Parade was organized by Kathy Keeser of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. Parents, grandparents and children assembled along Eagle Street beginning at 5 p.m.. The parade stepped off into bright sunshine and a brisk fall breeze at about 5: 30 p.m.. About 50 children followed the parade route west along Main Street to City Hall.

Winners

Costume category winners were Patrick Wojnicki, first place, and Ruth Bristol, second place. The Group category top honors were taken by a duo entered as "Chinese New Year" and second place went to a large contingent of children who represented Child Care of the Berkshires. First place in the Float category was awarded to Alex Babcock, Delaney Babcock, and Gracie O'Connell for a St. Patrick's Day float and second place was awarded to "Christmas in Hawaii," a group effort that included Hayden Gillooly, Allison Cellana, Julia Cellana, and Caroline Cellana.

Judges were Trisha Gresco, Sarah Buckley, Michele Wendling, Rebecca Wehry, and Mary Melendez.

"I Love Being In The Parade"

Brianna Gray, 5, and Emily Savory, 4, dressed as a princess and

Kiersten Landry, 8, and Jordan McLear, 10, brought a dressed-up look to the parade.
Disney's Ariel the Little Mermaid. Brianna said she was excited to be part of the parade.

"And I love being in the parade," said Emily.

Celine Koperek, 8, dressed as a Pilgrim while her sister Yvonne Koperek, 5, dressed as a Native American and her cousin Caleb Rondeau, 5, dressed as a Pilgrim. The children pulled a Thanksgiving float in the parade.

"I'm not nervous," said Celine. "I've walked in the big Fall Foliage parade. I'm going to be in the big parade this year, too."


Amelia Renaud, 6, wore a tall witch hat as part of her costume.
Hayley Peters, 8, wore a sparkly red dress with strands of multi-colored beads and a fancy, feathery mask. Her costume represented Mardi Gras, she said.

"Walking, waving, and smiling, that's going to be the fun of the parade," Hayley said. "I'm a Mardi Gras. I had this outfit, and it's red, and I got a lot of beads."

Amelia Renaud, 6, wore a witch costume and carried a black broom. The broom was apparently not of the magic variety because Amelia was unable to glide airborne along the parade route.

Keeping her feet on the ground wasn't a problem, she said.

"I liked walking," Amelia said.

Parade winners were presented with trophies and gift certificates.

Oct. 1 Parade

The Oct. 1 Fall Foliage Festival Parade is scheduled to step off from the Curran Highway Wal-Mart parking lot at 1 p.m.. The parade will travel along Curran Highway onto State Street, over the Hadley Overpass, then east on Main Street and south on Ashland Street to the Ashland Street senior citizen housing complex.

Eight-month-old Mackenzie Klein enjoyed the crowds of children.


The parade line-up includes marching bands, floats, and performance units. This year's Grand Marshal is state Rep. Daniel E. Bosley D-North Adams.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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