|Kiddie Parade breathes new life into old ideas|
|Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 10:27|
For the Swartz family that meant using a towering lighthouse created earlier this year for Bible School for their "Follow the Light to the Pemberville Fair" float.
By Wednesday evening, the former church prop was surrounded by netting full of fish, a sand castle and paper boulders, made by Tom and Sheila Swartz, and Sherri Anderson.
The adults had taken a two-decade respite from Kiddie Parade creations since their children are now grown.
"We haven't done this for 20 years, but now the grandchildren are here," Tom Swartz explained.
But their creative Kiddie Parade skills quickly came back.
"It is addicting," Anderson said.
Steep ditch banks were scaled and the sandbox was emptied to create the beach scene.
"I went in the ditch to get the cattails," said Sheila Swartz.
"They have no sand in their sandbox. I took it all," she confessed. "I told them I would put it back."
Next year, they plan to enlist the help of the middle generation.
"Now we need to get the mothers of the children involved," Tom Swartz said.
Rick and Diane Lindenberger also recognized the value of recycling a float originally created for last Halloween. Their entry featured "Patriotic Pirates" in an elaborate ship hoisted on a Red Rider wagon.
"This is a lot of Saturday nights at 2 o'clock in the garage," Rick Lindenberger said pointing at the pirate ship complete with a skull at the bow and rigging that was finished minutes before trick-or-treat last year. The three young sailors wore pirate outfits, complete with tri-cornered hats and swords.
The family even worked on appropriate language for the pirate float, though 2-year-old Abby's "arrrrgggh" came out more like "ooiigggg."
"It all came out of my recycling bags in the garage," Diane Burtchin said.
That is the key, according to several parents including Karen Cajka and Lisa Withrow who recreated "The Price is Right" on a wagon bed.
"We use things from around the house as much as we can," Withrow said.
The game show float featured a Drew Carey character, gowned models showing off prizes, and a fan waiting in contestant row. The children shared the stage with the grocery game and a working Plinko game.
"The kids thought it should be operational," Cajka said.
Another interactive game float featured "whac-a-moles," with three children in hardhats, safety glasses and big buck teeth hiding in mole holes.
"They come up and Haley bops them on the head, and they go down," said Julie Getz, who added that they hadn't practiced the bopping before the parade. "We'll see how it works."
There were some hard feelings initially from one "mole" who wanted to be the "whacker," with the giant foam mallet.
"Since she's smaller, she had to go in the hole," Getz explained.
The Henry family made use of a soccer goal, basketball hoop and plastic pool to recreate the London Olympics on a Kiddie Parade float. Darren Henry said the parade participation has been a tradition in his wife's family for about 35 years. However, like many entries, it often comes together in haste.
"It's usually a last second thing," Henry said.
For the Vestal family, the parade idea started brewing when Kevin Vestal made a small trailer for camping out of a Dodge Caravan seat. After taking a lot of ribbing about his "redneck" trailer, Vestal decided the modified van bench would be a great Kiddie Parade float for the "Redneck King and Queen" of the fair. The royalty, Cassidy Vestal and Jacob Appelhans, wore camouflage shirts, fake hillbilly teeth, fishing lures on their crowns, and carried a toilet plunger scepter. Kevin Vestal's hat read 1-800-Road-Kil, and the golf cart blared a CD of Jeff Foxworthy's comedy routine of "You Know You're a Redneck...." while a strobe light flashed and bubble machine pumped out bubbles from the roof.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2012 10:32|
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