Rains stop before District Fair parade

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Beneath gray, threatening skies, a sea of children sprang out into the streets to collect their goodies.

Although an early Monday afternoon storm brought a quarter inch of precipitation, the skies hardly offered a drop during the Southeast Missouri District Fair's parade.

"The weather is great; the temperature is awesome," Lorrie Sterling said. Along with her children, Sterling watched the floats, politicians and marching bands trek from Capaha Park toward the fairgrounds in Arena Park.

"It was a good crowd in spite of the early rain," fair board president Pete Poe said. While he could not provide an estimate of parade-goers, Poe said spectators lined the entire 1-mile route.

Sterling's 5-year-old son, Isaiah, was among hundreds of children who sat on curbs and scampered out into the street to grab suckers, Tootsie Rolls and bubble gum tossed their way from parade vehicles and participants.

While Isaiah said he would eat all the candy he gathered in his plastic bag Monday night, his mother smiled and firmly said, "No."

Casey Vaughn, 9, of Cape Girardeau, packed his cargo pant pockets full of treats for himself and sister, Allison, 7, who snuck out to grab more and more candy.

Cape Girardeau high schoolers Kathryn Plank, 17, and Megan Jenkins, 16, gathered goodies for their younger siblings who were unable to attend the parade.

"He doesn't even know I'm getting him candy," Plank said, whose 5-year-old brother was at a baseball game.

Down the street, a Cape Girardeau Fire Department fire engine and ladder truck sounded their sirens as they rolled by. Those were shortly followed by Southeast Missouri Regional Bomb Squad and the Scott County Search and Rescue vehicles.

A group of National Guard troops also marched in the parade, accompanied by camouflaged vehicles.

Crash test dummies from an anti-drinking and driving campaign waved to the crowd as they marched behind a wrecked auto pulled on a trailer.

A super group of heroes also walked the route, including Superman, Wonder Woman and Batgirl.

Among the politicians who walked in the parade were U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and state Rep. Nathan D. Cooper, R-Cape Girardeau. Several other vehicles rode by sponsoring numerous other candidates, including state representative candidate Larry Tetley, Circuit Judge Benjamin Lewis and U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo.

The only major incident of the parade was the injury of a Cub Scout who fell from a trailer being pulled in the parade at 6:45 p.m. at Cape Rock Drive and Kingshighway, police spokesman Jason Selzer said.

The 7-year-old boy, whose leg and upper thigh were run over by the trailer, was treated and released from a local hospital, according to police Sgt. Barry Hovis.

The parade began at 5:30 p.m. and lasted two hours, slightly normal than past years, Hovis said.


335-6611, extension 127

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