If you’re ever inclined to take a leisurely stroll down the middle of E. Madison Street on a sunny summer day, there’s no finer way to do it than by following a big red fire truck down the boulevard while surrounded by a hoard of kids and pets. That’s the drill each year for the Madison Park Days Children’s Parade, and it always seems to work nicely for participants and parade watchers alike.
Of course if you’re not a kid yourself, you should definitely bring a kid with you if you’re planning to “march” in this annual “spectacle.” As always, there were plenty of parents and grandparents in attendance this year, perhaps using the parade as an excuse to have a bit of fun themselves.
The parade got off right on time at noon, though at ten minutes till noon it was still looking a bit dicey, according to parade organizer (and Bert’s employee) Terry Short, who told us he was seriously concerned that they’d called a parade for which no one was in the mood. The faces were eager, but the crowd was meager.
Fortunately, however, many parents have apparently learned over the years that standing around waiting for the parade to start is not the goal; so in the last minutes before parade time, parents and kids descended from all directions--and the parade rolled out right on cue.
Of course, it's a short route (just down the street to the Park entrance), and the whole affair only lasted about eight minutes. But it was fun for a lot of kids (and perhaps a few lucky pets)...
...and it ended well, many parade participants and observers staying around to queue up in the Park for the complimentary food and drinks provided by ten neighborhood retailers (the event is organized and sponsored by the Madison Park Business Association).
All in all, both those in costume and those without felt it was a really nice way to spend part of a sunny day in Madison Park.