The Sidney Rodeo Parade Committee met on June 23, and organizer Ken Brown stresses to the public, “The Rodeo Parade will go on.”
The parade is scheduled for 4 p.m. Aug. 1, and organizers are looking for parade participants and volunteers for the day of the event.
Brown thought the crowd size might be much larger for the rodeo and the Rodeo Parade this year because people were “so sick of being stuck at home.” Brown understood Jaccqulene Tackett planned to put Rodeo Day on that Saturday again, as well, which would also add to the crowd.
Mel Fuelling attended the meeting and mentioned there were a few rodeos that had cancelled that had 800 riders each, so the rider participation at the Sidney Rodeo might be much higher than usual, too.
Brown said put off a decision on the Rodeo Parade until just recently while waiting to see how the pandemic went, so now he was going to be rushing to get participants and volunteers and everything planned. Originally he had wanted to have a contest for the best float, best vehicle and best storefront, but those ideas were scrapped when COVID-19 came along. Now it will be enough to ensure the parade goes on and is well received.
So far, Brown sent out letters at the first of the year to 90 previous parade participants inviting them back, and recently sent out email reminders with the entry form. He has been posting reminders on Facebook, and will send out additional emails within the week to those past participants who hadn’t responded yet. Participation in the parade is not limited to those who have already attended, though, and Brown hopes some new groups, organizations and individuals will contact him to enter. He also planned to run some newspaper advertising for a few weeks.
At the time of the June 23 meeting, Brown knew he had about 15 participant groups lined up. He did not know if there would be any marching bands because of coronavirus restrictions, and is waiting to hear back from Nicole Zavadil about the Sidney band. He planned to contact a few local car clubs to see if they would be interested in entering their cars in the parade.
Those present tossed ideas around regarding other people that should be invited to be in the parade, as well as next steps that need to be taken in organizing the event.
Brown still needs more volunteers for the day of the event, to help line entries up, keep everything running smoothly, and clean up behind horses during and after the parade. He hoped to rent or borrow a utility vehicle or golf cart for himself and other organizers to get from place to place in a hurry on parade day. He will wait to hear from the Rodeo Board about the grand marshal and contact that person to be in the parade.
Brown hoped people/groups would try to space themselves on the sidewalks and courthouse lawn as much as possible during the parade to meet social distancing needs if they are still in effect.
In a change from last year, there will be no hot dogs served at the elementary after the parade, as manpower is stretched too thin. Additionally, Brown stressed, absolutely no candy is to be thrown from vehicles. In last year’s parade it became clear that children were running too far out into the street after candy, endangering themselves. Groups walking are welcome to hand out candy or items to people as they walk by, as long as people aren’t rushing into the street in front of entrants.
Brown asks the public to help spread the word that parade entrants and volunteers are sought, and urges those who want to be in the parade to contact him by phone at 806-290-1857, by email at: email@example.com or click on the Book Now button on the Sidney Rodeo Parade Facebook page.