Downtown parade success

PARADE: Potato Bowl Parade draws more than 90 floats and hundreds of spectators Saturday morning.

The excitement of another Potato Bowl week has come and gone, but the sugar highs of all the children who collected candy at Saturday’s parade

This year’s 48th annual Potato Bowl Parade had more than 90 participating floats.

Travis McDonald, the KEM Shrine Parade chair, arrived bright and early in preparation for the event, which got underway at 10:30 a.m.

Organizing the parade this year was a first for the KEM Shrine.

“It was an interesting learning experience -— just getting together a great group to set everything up,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the parade has traditionally been a family event focused on the community.

Other participants and spectators agreed.

Parade participants Corey Hanson and Carly Hansen that they looked forward to seeing the faces of everyone as they passed. For them, the celebration had started early in the week when they put decorations up in the windows of their business, but according to Hanson, the decision for their miniature football field float came up at the last second.

“We kinda just woke up and met early enough in the parking lot to do everything,” Hanson said.

Spectator Rob Segler said that coming to the parade is a tradition passed on from his parents. Al–though his family was not planning to attend the game, Segler said he and his sons had come to see the parade the past 10 years.

Traditions for kids

Walking the route of the parade, it was easy to see and feel other traditions that filled the streets.

Children lined the streets holding their important plastic bags and pom-poms. A few girls even wore pom-poms in their hair.

Coming to the parade for the second year, Kayla Campbell said it was something fun to do with the children. Her daughters were most excited for the cheerleaders after seeing them up close the year before, she said.

“You can just come out and enjoy the nice weather, and the potato events are always focused toward the family,” she said.

As the parade got underway, military vehicles drove ahead of the Pride of the North Marching Band performing in the street. As the parade went by, participants handed out candy, potato chips, bubbles, beach balls and other goodies.

As for the music, it never seemed to end, as band after band marched by the crowd. Some of those included the Central High School band, the Red River High School band, as well as out-of-town bands from Crookston and Park River.

The party seemed as though it would go on forever as floats drove by with goal posts and green decorations.

Mathew McKay is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at