Love a parade? Here’s a tip or two

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Parade season is gearing up and every year I like to give suggestions to those who will fill out the parade applications/entry forms. My perspective comes from years of organizing parades, announcing parades and participating in parades. In the whole big scheme of things this isn’t a task that requires a degree in form filling out but it can assist the announcer and answer questions that parade participants have about why the announcer didn’t say something specific as their entry passed by.

Often the form is filled out by someone in the office or someone who won’t actually be with the entry on parade day. When a form asks for a description of the entry, don’t do what a fire department has done in the past and write “big red trucks.” Admittedly that’s amusing but when their entry passes by it would be preferable to be able to inform the spectators that the truck holds a zillion gallons of water or the ladder reaches three stories and that the fire department covers 50 square miles of the town. How many calls does the department roll on every year? Identifying who’s driving the truck or riding on the truck, is also good.

In that 30 seconds or so the announcer is talking about your entry it’s fun to mention interesting factoids about the organization, agency, company or community being represented.

On the flip side, attaching a full-page, single-spaced narrative about the history and mission of the organization isn’t helpful either. Refer back to the 30 seconds or so that the announcer has to talk about your entry before the next one comes into view. Edit your information so the key points are the ones that you, not the announcer, chooses.

Be specific. If there’s royalty, name them. If it’s an antique vehicle, provide the year and if the owner is the driver, include their name. And if you have royalty riding in a car that’s been borrowed, name the driver/owner of the car.

In full disclosure, for the 10th year I’ll be in the announcers skybox on Sherman Avenue again this year for the Fourth of July parade. Having lived here for decades I can sometimes wing it when I don’t have information at hand from the entry form. The goal is to celebrate the occasion and all of those in our communities who make it so great. So help out the old woman with a microphone who really wants to identify people by name. Thanks in advance. :)

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If you plan to enter any of the area parades now’s the time. Coeur d’Alene’s American Heroes Parade is Thursday, July 4; info at Coeur d’Alene Chamber 664-3194. In Post Falls the annual parade will be 10 a.m. Saturday, July 13. Contact the Post Falls Chamber for an entry form, 773-5016. Rathdrum Days Parade is 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20, on Main Street. Info: 208-687-2866. Hayden celebrates on July 27 with a 10 a.m. community parade. Info: 208-209-1080.

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Things to Do highlights: Tonight, Downtown Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. at Fifth and Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene.

Post Falls Rotary annual golf tournament is Friday, noon to 6 p.m. at Prairie Falls. Info: www.postfallsrotary.org

On Friday, Family Day in the Park Kick-off to Summer, noon to 6 p.m. at Coeur d’Alene City Park.

2nd Friday Art Walk in downtown Coeur d’Alene, 5-8 p.m.

Gotta love this clever new event … 5K ISP Foot Pursuit for CASA takes place on Saturday at McEuen Park. 8:30 a.m. to noon. Info: www.northidahocasa.org

On Saturday and Sunday, visit 36 artists in 16 studios in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls in the seventh annual Coeur d’Alene Artists Studio Tour. Tickets at the Coeur d’Alene Chamber and The Art Spirit Gallery. Info: www.artsandculturecda.org

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Happy birthday today to Alec Steele, Evelyn Bevacqua Howe, Harold Appleby, Jr., Joel Semanko, Helen Elder, Dale Rounsville, Ron Hodge and JaNee Newby. Tomorrow Wendy English, Don Bradway, Dallas Dixon, DeDe Tondee and Kim Normand put on their party hats. On Friday my better half and best friend Bert Thoreson along with John Hough, Brad Corkill, Rick Alden and Susan Lewis are celebrating birthdays. Blowing out the candles on Saturday are Tammy Rickard, Courtney Everson, Dustin Pilcher, Jaymie Starr, Emma Hoffman, Dave Haugen and Ted Pryor. On Sunday Carla Allert, Dave Corbeill (70!), Greg Washington, Paul Deckon, James Hart, Don Fisher and Darrell Hull will celebrate. Monday birthdays belong to Chelsea Hough, Jared Mans, Taylor Gonzales, Lori Kaye Gaboury, Joan Crawford, Tanzi Hanson and Shannon Boston. June 11 birthday wishes to Deb Wheeler, Kellie Palm, Eddie Bateman, Sandy Green, Gary Schneidmiller, Colin Evans, Tori Daily, Billy Anderson and Erna Rhinehart.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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