#63 Hometown parades

I’m a sucker for parades. I can get teary watching a rag-tag band of children and parents wearing crazy costumes. This morning I grabbed my camera and headed down the street to watch the Fat Cat Children’s Festival parade.

There’s something hopeful about a parade. Groups who want the community to know about them go to a lot of trouble to round up volunteers, plan costumes and maybe a float, and recruit marchers. Families line the route. Smiles, hugs and laughter are handed out with the flyers and candy.

The Fat Cat parade celebrates a children’s festival that got its start in 1990. It’s Kelowna’s family-friendly weekend, early enough that schools can bring busloads of children on the Friday, late enough there’s a good chance of fine weather.

The sun smiled on everyone, and hundreds of children knew that, at least for one day, the city loved them. We need events like this, that put children in the center. So…come join the parade.

Pipe bands are traditional parade leaders here. This is the Kelowna Pipe Band.

Here’s the Fat Cat himself.

Mayor Sharon Shepherd and several councilors handed out goodies to children.

Little dancers donned their prettiest costumes.

The Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market promoted local food and wares.

A friendly version of Ogopogo, our local lake monster, took up the rear.

And no matter how big they were, the fuzzy mascots (this one from Big White) were magnets for hug-seeking children.

More photos of the parade here.

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