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Kids’ parade continues a longtime tradition
July 07, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Get ready to smile as a decades old tradition, the Oregon Trail Days Kiddie Parade, makes its way through downtown Gering on Friday, July 8.

The parade starts at Legion Park (12th and O Street) at 10 a.m., heads down 10th to N Street, and back to the park. Participants must register at Legion Park starting at 9:15 a.m.

Leading the parade will be Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts carrying the flag, followed by the Gering Elementary School Band.

Then comes kids in costume and on floats in a wide variety of categories, including girl’s and boy’s decorated bicycles, Wild West (i.e. pioneers, cowboys, cowgirls, native Americans, historical wagons, and floats), girl and boy clowns, nursery rhymes and story book characters, entertainers, faraway lands, patriotic characters, sports, general, pets, prehistoric and dinosaurs, art-creative costumes, and horses.

Also participating will be the Gering High School cheerleaders and the Junior High Drug Free Clowns, carrying signs for each category.

Kids let their imaginations soar as they come up with all kinds of creative costumes. Crazy face paint, old refrigerator boxes, bicycle decorations, sports characters have shown up in the past. Pets have also been part of the parade.

“We’ll have people passing out water,” said event co-chair Mary Robinson. “Because we don’t have motorized vehicles, there’s no stipulation on handing out water or candy.”

After arriving back at Legion Park, every participant will receive a pass for the Gering swimming pool, a carnival ticket and a participation ribbon.

The parade started back in 1953 and has since become a tradition during Oregon Trail Days. Children of all ages up to 12 are invited to participate as long as they are dressed in costumes that are original, colorful, and of high quality.

Robinson said that while it hasn’t been verified, the kiddie parade could be the longest running one in the state.

After the Kiddie Parade, street games for the kids, along with inflatables, will be happening in downtown Gering on 10th Street.
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