Saturday, May 17, 2008

72nd Annual Winsted Rotary Pet Parade

The Winsted pet parade brings up all kinds of memories for us. We used to always take the kids if they did not participate. Now if you are thinking what is so great about a pet parade? This is the most unique pet parade I have ever seen.

Yes, there are kids walking dogs, or pulling wagons with rabbits, ducks, guinea pigs, cats, pigs--whatever you call a pet, it is welcome. If that were simply the whole of the pet parade, I would not be there. Then there are kids riding bikes, scooters, or motorized cars. There's always a horse or two. This year there was a llama. That still wouldn't be enough to get me back.

There were three marching bands. They were enjoyable. What parade doesn't have marching music?

No, the thing I like best about this particular parade are the costumes. Kids are allowed to dress as a character--"Hannah Montana" was there, along with the entire Wizard of Oz crew and a whole section dedicated to Dr. Seuss with the Grinch, and the Cat in the Hat and others. I like to see the clever ideas that people come up with for that division.

Unfortunately, this year the parade was only a half hour long. We have seen it twice that size. I hate to think that it is losing its appeal. There were not as many kids in costume. There were several poor dogs in costumes, though.

As I sat on the blanket on the hill where we had a perfect view, I remembered past pet parades. Tiffany wore her the full skirt that we got so much mileage out of during Halloween and other occasions. She was Little Bo Peep with her staff and a big hat looking for her sheep. I remember the first year we got Patches and Ben walked with him. One or two years the kids rode in the church's float or marched with them singing. I remember Tiffany's last year when she and a friend were the 7-Up Spot and something else to do with that soda ad.

My favorite year was the one when I was frantically trying to put together something at the last minute for Ben. We took a wagon and put cardboard on top--kind of like a square covered wagon. We cut holes out of the cardboard and stuck stuffed animals in them with their heads sticking out (a make shift ark) and the Ben, as Noah, wore a bathrobe, sandals, and he used the same Bo Peep Staff (which was actually a walking cane that was too big for them). Then I made him a beard out of white cotton batting. He was only about 3 or 4. I think I had to pull the wagon for him. I was pleased how well everything came out and especially pleased when he won a ribbon for his division. I know I was happier about that than him!

So, even if the pet parade loses some of it's old charm, we will always have the memories and I am thankful for the venue that they created for that 72 years ago.

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