Parade sets tone for Old Fashion Days

MARION — On Saturday afternoon the crowd began to gather.

Some were standing, but most of the moms, dads, kids, friends and neighbors sat on front porches and folding chairs along Main Street in anticipation of the Grand Parade, a featured event of Marion Old Fashion Days.

Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Old Fashion Days is a popular village-wide celebration held annually in early August.

For almost an hour, hundreds of spectators who came from Marion and towns and villages throughout the area, were rewarded with all the familiar sights and sounds of a hometown parade.

The crowd cheered as the American flag came into view carried by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6015 who marched proudly at the head of the parade.

Grand Marshal, Faye Dague, rode in style with some lucky children in a horse-drawn white Cinderella coach that set the tone for the gala succession of floats and wagons to come.

Taking part were area businesses, clubs and organizations, school groups, churches and elected officials. There were also cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, boats and snowmobiles, both vintage and late models.

A float featuring a haunted forest, complete with witches and goblins, provided an unusual taste of Halloween in August.

The riders from the Hughston Cow Camp Rodeo in McBain were crowd favorites as they rode by on horseback with show tack gleaming in the sunlight. Among the riders were matriarch Bonnie Hughston and five of her sons. To learn more about the group and Cow Camp events, visit the website at www.cowcamprodeo.com.

The Marion Gleaner entry with a large clock and quilts with intricate patterns reflected the Old Fashion Days theme, “A Stitch in Time,” recalling an earlier era when hand stitching was a part of everyday life.

Members of the Marion High School class of 1961 came together to design a colorful float and celebrate school days as they traveled down Main Street waving and greeting old friends in the crowd.

“I try never to miss a parade,” said Nancy Christie from Marion. “I’ve lived in Marion since I was 11 years old, and have been coming to the parades for years. I probably have only missed one or two. I enjoy the parades and look forward to a chance to see friends and people I haven’t seen for a long time.”

Dale and Melissa Rainier from Lake City came with 12 family members, some from Marion and some from Lake City. “We think it’s a fantastic parade and we like to get together and come as a family. It’s fun for us, and lots of fun for the kids, too.”

Old Fashion Days will take place again next August. To learn more about the 2012 schedule of festivities, watch for announcements on the Marion Chamber of Commerce website, www.marionmichigan.com.