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Parade kicks off fair week

More than 2,800 people involved in the parade this year

Parade kicks off fair week

Parade kicks off fair week

Carlos Peña on trumpet, right, Taylor...

With zombies growling, sirens wailing, drums rolling and children laughing in delight, a colorful and exciting parade through downtown Statesboro Monday kicked off the 2013 Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair.

Beauty queens perched on top of sleek convertibles, children wiggled and giggled in the backs of trucks and trailers, and 31 horses and their riders brought up the rear of the parade that lasted more than an hour.

Statesboro Kiwanis Club member Charles Sheets, the parade chairman, said this year was one of the largest, with almost 170 units involving more than 2,800 people.

Many floats carried the parade’s agricultural theme, using seasonal cotton plants, hay bales and pumpkins to create barnyard atmospheres. Some adhered to the theme to be judged.

Kid’s World Learning Center won the parade entry contest. New Covenant Church finished second; GSU Haunted Forest, third; Farmers & Merchants Bank, fourth; and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro, fifth.

Other businesses or groups used their creativity to promote themselves.

Ed Scott said his group, City of David Worship Center, entered the parade “to let the community see our  faces and let them know we are a new church.” The event was a project for the church’s youth, he said.

The parade featured antique tractors restored to original splendor; local firefighters showing off new equipment and members of area car clubs in exquisitely restored cars and trucks, including one Georgia State Patrol 1989 Ford Mustang.
High school and university bands marched, mascots waved and handed out candy, and tiny tots waved gleefully from floats and vehicles, offering toothy smiles to anyone who looked their way.

Some entries, such as Old Freeman Farms and El Sombrero Mexican restaurant, featured live singers and musicians as they rolled past spectators.

Sheets was pleased with the turnout, as crowds lined both sides of the street throughout the parade route.

“Everything went very smoothly,” he said. “We didn’t have any problem whatsoever, and we appreciate everyone who came, whether they participated or watched. It takes both, you know.”

The annual parade kicks off six days of fun at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, held on Fair Road just outside of Statesboro.

The fair will be held nightly through Saturday.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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