Children celebrated in Reed City during annual parade

REED CITY — Hundreds of children walked through the streets of Reed City on Wednesday to take part in the annual Children's Parade and wave to dozens of friends, family and community members who attended to show their support and love.

Many students carried pinwheels, wore masks, waved banners and donned items like Hawaiian leis to help make the event fun and festive while they trekked beside teachers and school officials.

The parade is one of many area events celebrating April as the Month of the Young Child. Nationally, the Week of the Young Child has been observed since 1971, when the National Association for the Education of Young Children established it to bring attention to how the first years of a child’s life help determine the child’s success in school and later life. The NAEYC defines young children as birth to age 8.

In Michigan, the observance was expanded to the entire month of April in 1985 and is coordinated by the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children. Locally, most events take place during the last two weeks of the month.

Today, in Big Rapids, a similar parade will take place at 1 p.m. throughout the streets of downtown. However, in the event of rain, the children will parade inside their school hallways.