Centennial Parade

By dhowell - Posted on 03 January 2008

The third of three main events for the holiday weekend (July 4) was the centennial parade. With the county spotlight focusing on Manchester for the big celebration it would be safe to say that no one was disappointed.

The whole atmosphere was that of a century ago. Residents in centennial dress and their guests sat in yards and watched as the colorful spectacle passed. And the spectators created quite a picture, too.

Bill Hainstock and Mike Schneider co-chairmen for the parade said that when they arrived at the east village limits (starting point of the parade) at 7:30 a.m. some were already getting into position. There were more than 50 entries and over 500 people involved in the parade.

"Bring a cheery word, a camera and wear a centennial costume," said Hainstock in an open invitation.

The parade route was along City Road to Riverside, onto Main and out to Carr Park. No cars or trucks later than a 1936 model was allowed.

Grand marshall was 93-year-old Carl Wuerthner. Riding with him in a 1921 model car was Mrs. L. C. Kent. Her husband, the late Dr. Kent, served this community for more than 50 years.

Queen Vicki Roberts and her court were on a float following the high school band directed by R. C. Sortor and Roger Marrison. Eight or nine floats depicting yesteryears added lots of color and lots of laughs.

Horse drawn buggies, a sleigh on a wagon, horse drawn, horses of all kinds, marchers in costume, cars of antiquated vintage, a sheriff's posse, antique tank wagon, fire engine and tank truck.

One of the focal points along the two-mile parade route was the First Michigan Light Artillery of Detroit. Later, at Carr Park, there was a demonstration which included the firing of some of the Civil War cannons.

The Aowakiyas Indian baton group from Tecumseh, including some 40 girls ranging in age from 4 to 14 years had a spot in the parade.

There were refreshments at the park sponsored by Jaycees. There was shuttle bus service between the park and starting point of the parade for those who needed it. Most of the merchants had their windows decorated for the big parade which exceeded most everyone's expectations.