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Oregon Trail Days parade 2011

July 19, 2011

I love a parade, and the Oregon Trail Days parade in downtown Gering is a lovely one, if you can manage to find a seat in the shade. (It’s always like 100 degrees that weekend.)

After the Hill Climb bike race up Scotts Bluff, husband, his visiting family and I headed to the parade route. We got there at 9 a.m. and got probably the last good spot in the shade of the downtown buildings. We bought some breakfast burritos from a passing fundraiser person and some cinnamon rolls from the Gering Bakery and people watched until the parade began at 10.

I’m going to post a bunch of parade pictures, out of chronological order, just because I feel like it. I am going to start with my very favorite photo. (Heck with that “saving the best for last” stuff.)

Pretty ladies on horses. If only they were looking my way in this shot! I got a lot of backs of heads because I was across the street from the TV camera. Lesson learned.

Speaking of pretty ladies, Miss America was in the parade this year, up front, on her own float. (Last year as Miss Nebraska, she rode further back, on a shared float.) I'm not posting a photo of Miss A. As a Gering native, she has gotten a enough coverage around here. What I thought was interesting was the bicycle police presence behind her float. Even the governor didn't get that when he was in the parade last year.

These kiddos across the street were a hoot. They were marching in place as the Gering High School band approached.

The BFF emergency response truck was impressively large.

So, too, was this combine. Look how small the people in the background look! I gotta say, the guy driving this parade entry had it made. Air-conditioned cab. 'Nuff said.

It's western Nebraska. You gotta have a float with a wind pump on it. And a kid on a tricycle hooked up by a pulley to a mini oil pump?

Yup. Here out west, Ronald McDonald wears a fringed vest and cowboy boots with spurs. All the better to chase down those hambugers on the hoof, my dear.

This guy in the parade had some mad bullwhip skillz. The crack of the whip startled me. I am suprised it did not startle his herd. Guess they're used to it by now.

Here's some more of the bullwhipcracker's herd. Baby horsies! I've never seen baby horsies in a parade before!

Yep. Lotsa horses in the OTD parade. Ponies, too. Specifically Express Ponies. (Whatchoo carryin' in them saddle bags, bub?)

There were horses from the Buckboard Therapeutic Riding Academy, which helps kiddos who need therapy. I love that the horses were decorated with neon and glitter paint.

I also love that the trailing horse had "I ♥ kids" written on his rump.

There were horses pulling the Deadwood stagecoach, which lives at the North Platte Valley Museum all year, save for this one day.

The wagon from Scotts Bluff National Monument (remember it from my previous post?) did not get horses. Even better. It got a team of real, live oxen. (Unlike the fiberglass oxen installed this year to "pull" a wagon near the visitors center.)


Heritage Estates had a really cute parade float last year ("evolution of the wheelchair," ending with a Harley). Their float this year was cute, too, if hard to photograph because it was so long. In case you can't see it, the "generations of sweethearts" included teenagers playing video games, a young couple sitting under trees, a family with kids, and a retired couple.)

To wrap up, here's a crazy-awesome feather headdress, courtesy of Rosita's.

Until next year, OTD. Until next year.

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2011 10:47 pm

    This looks like it was one of the best parades since I’ve been back here!

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink
      July 20, 2011 6:24 am

      It wasn’t perfect. There were some pretty large gaps in the parade by the time it got down to my end of the street. But, as someone who participated in the parade put it, the parade is delightfully low-key and disorganized (or something to that effect).

  2. Becky Ulrich permalink
    July 22, 2011 8:44 pm

    Thank you for posting some of the best pictures covering the parade and love the comments.We love participating in the Gering parades (OTD and Christmas) because the people make it pleasent and fun. See you next year!

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