The 2018 Hootin an Hollarin big parade takes off at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon
Gainesville’s population swells from a few hundred to a few thousand on Saturday afternoon of Hootin an Hollarin as spectators line the streets when the Big Parade steps off at 2 p.m. This year’s lineup promises to be another crowd pleaser, with marching bands, floats, antique cars and all sorts of other entries.
Parade chairpersons Kerrie Zubrod and Heather Bushner say more parade floats are still needed. Keeping in mind this year’s festival theme – “Fun from the Old School,” – area organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to round up friends and neighbors, grab some creativity and build a float on a pickup bed or flat-top trailer to join the parade. There is a good chance your float will win prize money!
The prize money (not to mention the fun of waving to all those smiling faces) makes floats worth the effort: $150 grand prize, $100 first place, $75 second place, $50 third place and $25 fourth place.
Floats must be available for judging at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the MoDOT maintenance shed on Highway MM behind and just west of the Dollar General store near
Highways 160 and 5 north). It will open at 8 a.m. for float decorators. Line-up begins there at 1 p.m. with step-off an hour later.
The Shriners’ zany TR3s are scheduled to appear this year as well as a traffic jam of antique cars and a roaring-good assortment of other vehicles and contraptions, maybe even some hot-rod lawn mowers!
These vehicles are welcome to line up on Highway MM just west of the entrance to the MoDOT shed (allowing room for the floats to come out). Horse riders can wait in the grassy area near O’Reilly Auto Parts for their turn to enter the parade lineup.
Also joining the fun-loving parade will be the 2018 Hootin an Hollarin queen and her court, the 2018 junior princesses, the 2018 Lil Cedar Pete and Lil Miss Addie Lee, the 2017 Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas and, of course, the winners of Friday afternoon’s costume parade (they gather at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home to walk in the parade from that point).
The parade route proceeds east from Highways 5 and MM up First Street, turning onto Main Street in front of Town & Country Supermarket and entering the southwest corner of the square, going around it and then exiting the square onto Third Street and dispersing from there.
This year’s parade marshal is William Walrath (see page 50). He’ll be joined by a host of other folks waving from all sorts of vehicles, including the winners of the Lions Club’s Barney Douglas Citizen of the Year award, Wayne and Doris Sayles (see page 20).