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Everybody loves a parade

Downtown procession kicks off 'Fair week'

    It was a happy day for many Monday as a long and lively parade kicked off a week full of fun at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair.
    Smiles were plentiful as children shrieked with glee as Statesboro Fire Chief Dennis Merrifield sounded the siren of a 1980 fire engine, "Ladder #1." But there were just as many smiles from the children - and adults - riding on floats, in cars or marching along.
    The Georgia Southern University marching band played loudly and proudly as the mascot, Gus the Eagle, pranced and danced. As the procession flowed southward down North Main Street, along South Main Street and on to Fair Road, citizens were treated to the sights and sounds of several entries including ball teams and cheerleaders from the Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation and the Sharks swim team.
    Classic tractors chugged down the street, followed by an impressive float by the Brooklet Community Development Association featuring "Mr. Peanut," representing the town's annual Peanut Festival.
    The day was a bit warm for October, and likely no one knew it better than the person plodding along wearing a huge Statesboro High School Blue Devil football player suit.
    Members of Statesboro Deliverance Church passed out candy and invited people to come worship with them. And beauty queens from area schools and other organizations rolled by in classy rides such as a Humvee limousine and flashy sports cars.
    One of the most labor-intensive floats paid homage to the parade's theme: "100 Years - Georgia Southern University Blossoms from Agricultural Roots." The float was a replica of one of  the university's buildings, with white columns and red bricks.
    A clown named Vern was silly and brought a lot of giggles as he waved to the crowd, riding along and walking at times with the Bulloch DUI School entry. A crew of swashbuckling pirates drew lots of attention as they went by, part of the Party Impressions entry.
    Classic cars from the oldies (40's and 50's era or older) and from the not-so-loong-ago days (60's and 70's) garnered lots of oohs and aahs, especially when drivers revved those powerful engines.
    Tiny gymnasts in flashy outfits either marched or rode in the backs of trucks, and several military groups including ROTC teams from local schools reminded citizens of soldiers overseas and  the service military personnel  provides the country.
    As always, the horses brought up the rear. A posse of 22 local riders showed off their horses as they rode through town, followed by a "pooper scooper" to help keep the city streets clean.
    Many citizens left the parade to head for the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds, where admission was free Monday night.

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