Oshkosh Stories and Snapshots: Kids Parade

Kids Parade
Contributed by: Steve

Each year the Ohio Street Civic Association would sponsor a parade for kids near the end of July. The kids would dress in costumes, show off a pet, ride their decorated tricycles or pull floats, large and small. The parade organized at the Sacred Heart School grounds on Fifth and Knapp Streets and went east on Fifth to Ohio Street, then south to the South Park. At the end of the parade, the kids were given refreshments and a bag of goodies. This parade was extremely popular not only with the kids but also with the parents. Some parents even competed against each other to see who could come up with the best idea for their kids. My son David built many floats for his younger sisters and most of them won prizes. Come to think of it, I think I still have some parts for these floats stored in the attic of my garage.

With the parade going past my mother-in-law's house, it made an ideal excuse to have a family get together. Each year, the gathering got larger and larger. After the parade, Grandma would get a penny ante poker game going at the kitchen table and some of us guys would play sheepshead at a card table in the driveway. We were not allowed to play in the house because we argued so much and were too loud. There would be a lunch of potato salad, baked beans, homemade rye bread and other goodies. Nobody went away disappointed and everybody started looking forward to next year.

One year, construction on Fifth Street forced the parade to go down Fourth Street. It was a bit inconvenient but we survived. Be it known that in all the years I attended, it was the only time it rained during the parade or for that matter, during the gathering.

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