It was a great day to be a mascot, a candy aficionado, to have an affection for old cars or farm equipment or to just sit back, relax and enjoy a good, old-fashioned parade. Whether a kid, or a kid at heart, the 2014 North Dakota State Fair Parade delivered a little something for everybody Saturday.
Children by the hundreds shared hugs with a variety of mascots, in between dashes to grab candy and other items tossed by parade entrants. Some covered their ears when sirens wailed but were always wide-eyed and eager to see what the next entrant would be. Older parade watchers took particular interest in the automobiles and farm implements of days long past. Horses and dogs seemed to please everybody.
The State Fair Parade has long been a popular tradition in the city and Saturday was no exception. Thousands of people, from the very young to the very old, lined the parade route along Burdick Expressway to watch more than 200 entries make their way past the waiting throngs of enthusiastic parade watchers. Animal-type mascots found themselves deluged by children along the route. Brightly colored and appropriately shiny fire trucks, with flashing lights, wailing sirens and unmistakable horns, proved to be big attention getters in a lengthy parade that had no shortage of crowd favorites.
You can’t have a parade without colorful fire trucks and wailing sirens. Here fire units from Minot Air Force Base travel along Burdick Expressway, delighting parade watchers who lined the route.
Children, using either bags brought from home or ones handed out during the parade, happily gathered candy distributed by nearly every entrant in the parade. Surprises ranged from the ageless Tootsie Roll, to fruit, to canned soft drinks, Frisbees, T-shirts, caps, sports balls and Freeze Pops. Cards and brochures were handed out too. More than one mother was heard to say, "No more candy," but even they realized the futility of keeping children from enjoying the moment.
It was a good day to sit at curbside and watch a parade, not only to see the many entrants and the excited children scramble for their share of the give-aways, but because the weather was as ideal as could be expected. Temperatures were tolerable and a light cloud cover throughout much of the parade kept a bright sun at bay. Start time was 9:15 a.m.
Horses, clowns, dancers, singers and the Maji Drum Line were among the many parade entries that attracted the attention of the very large crowd. Of particular interest was a number of Military and Veteran's entries, some complete with patriotic music that brought parade watchers to their feet.
This year's Grand Marshal was Sherman Sylling. Sylling served as executive director of the North Dakota High School Activities Association from 1999 to June 30, 2014. Jim Clifford, Minot, was the 2014 parade chairman. The parade concluded on the State Fairgrounds.