Flandreau is a town that loves a good parade.
And it has shown its expertise and charm in putting them together.
One of the first assignments I covered when I started at the Enterprise in November 2017 was the holiday parade. I didn’t know what to expect from a small town giving a lighted parade at night, but it was pretty impressive, even if the crowd was thin or seeking warmth in cars.
Businesses lit up the street. Santa appeared more than once, including one float that gave him an impressive perch on a firetruck. There were cars and horses, kids and candy. It was short but joyful.
The same can be said of the parade during the Moody County Fair and the homecoming parade each year. They’re fun. It’s good to see people from the community celebrating what they stand for and getting involved.
With a month to go, I’ve been wondering what floats will enter the Sesquicentennial parade. Organizers are wondering, too, and they’re asking people to sign up.
There’s a guarantee to be some alumni riding in the parade as part of the all-school reunion. But what other ways will we congratulate the town on turning 150? What will community pride look like?
Hopefully, some of the businesses will find that same creativity they have with the holiday parade. If we’re lucky, some politicians locally and perhaps statewide will show up and wave. We should be able to count on community groups, such as 4-H clubs, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, the museum and churches to get involved.
It’s not just what you see, but what you hear. The Flandreau City Band and Flandreau High Alumni Band will liven up the street. I hope they go really slow so we can hear more of them.
Before we know it, it will be time to line up near the Flandreau Aquatic Center on July 5 for what will be an historic parade. There’s only one 150th, after all.
Years from now, folks will remember the multi-day community event that features the parade as a big piece of the celebration.
All of us undoubtedly have memories of impressive parades from the years when we were growing up, whether it was joining in as elementary classes dressed up with a theme or hearing an impressive marching band.
There’s a community spirit that comes along with a parade for both kids and adults. It’s energizing. It makes people smile.
On July 6, the parade will be a memory, an event that marked 150 years of community spirit.