This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, September 12, 2011

LCJ parade 2011

Though the Little Cousin Jasper Festival began Friday afternoon, it did not get into full swing until Saturday after the Little Cousin Jasper parade. Near the front of the parade were several units marking the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Members of the Rensselaer Volunteer Fire Department, with the assistance of a couple of firemen from Remington, carried a large U.S. flag.
Behind them was a trailer with two sections of I-beams from the World Trade Center. Members of the fire department had driven to New York last week to pick them up. The terms of the donation state that they must be used in a memorial at the fire station, and that memorial must be lit at night. I thought it would be nice if they could put the memorial across the street in the little Halleck Park, but that does not seem to be an option.
The parade had the usual commercial and political floats. There were a number of mascots in the parade. I am not sure whether the mouse character was attached to the South Newton band or to a previous parade unit. There were also clowns (appropriately part of a political unit), and a chicken urging people to eat chicken at KFC.
There were three bands in the parade. The best band unit was won by the West Central band, shown below. It was impressed by its size--West Central is not a big school.
The SJC band did not march or appear at all in the Festival this year. They probably were preoccupied with the home football opener at the college on Saturday. I wonder if the West Central band competed in the band competition at the high school in the afternoon. There were two big events at the high school on Saturday, the annual Rensselaer Cross Country Invitational in the morning (I spent about ten years working that meet--I miss the donuts in the morning) and a band competition in the afternoon.

The grand marshal of the parade was Larry Vanderwielen, whose late wife Lynn helped establish the Little Cousin Jasper Festival. He and his wife plus their seven children and 22 grandchildren were on a float. Larry and Lynn were my neighbors when I moved to Rensselaer, and their two older daughters babysat occasionally for our kids, plus delivered the Rensselaer Republican for several years back when Rensselaer still had paper boys and girls. I was able to speak briefly with him on Sunday morning.

The parade did not have the usual firetrucks with sirens--the firemen and EMTs were marching this year. But it did have something I like to see in all rural parades: horses.

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