MOSES LAKE — Once again, spectators lined the streets and a stream of brightly-lit vehicles processed through downtown Moses Lake as the community turned out for the 23rd Annual Agricultural Parade and Street Party Friday evening. The weather was chilly, but the participants’ spirits were undeterred.
The parade included 30 entries and lasted about an hour, according to Michaelle Boetger, executive director of the Moses Lake Business Association, which organizes the event every year. Sue Tebow, a celebrated local photographer and one of the original organizers of the parade, was honored as grand marshal. She surveyed the crowd from her vantage point on a Genie Industries lift. The Moses Lake Fire Department contributed a lit-up fire truck to the parade, as did the Sand Scorpions, whose float included a Christmas scene and an array of off-road vehicles.
“The evening was a huge success,” said Moses Lake mayor Karen Liebrecht, who also served as a judge. “I believe it was the largest turnout yet. The crowd was truly engaged and enjoying the efforts put forth by all that made it possible. The judging was difficult as there was a lot of effort put in by all.”
“An impressive display of floats including a gigantic igloo with snow flakes shooting out of its chimney, fire trucks and processions of festively dressed community groups pleasing the younger parade goers with candy,” said April Adams of Realty Executives, another parade judge. “Mega blasts of horns from the monster trucks made the crowd cheer for more. It was a treat as a judge because there were some visually impressive floats this year. But for me, the pièce de résistance was the marching band; the saxophones, flutes and pounding of the drums brought home the evening. I’m grateful to be part of a city that tries very hard to bring our community together with family friendly events like this.”
J.R. Simplot, one of the largest agribusiness employers in the area, made its Ag Parade debut with two floats, one a flatbed truck bearing Santa and his antlered retinue. The company also handed out fresh hot french fries to spectators at Sinkiuse Square.
“As one of the largest ag employers in the area, engaging with the community and highlighting agriculture was an exceptional event for us,” said Agronomy Raw Development Manager Rebecca Sterner. “We are already working on plans for next year.”
Simplot wasn’t the only supplier of goodies to the crowd. Dr. Rory Knapp and his staff gave out mini-donuts and hot apple cider, the Martin Luther King Committee offered hot chocolate and cookies and Director’s Mortgage distributed hand warmers to combat the chill. The children’s choir Voices of a New Day provided entertainment.
“Events like this take months of planning and more volunteers that we have, but somehow it all comes together,” said Boetger. “I can’t thank everyone enough: the volunteers that helped plan, the merchants who kept their stores open, the community who came down with their family in the cold, the vendors who set up in Sinkiuse Square, the parade participants and anyone else I may have forgotten. It’s when we all come together that we make events like this awesome.”
— Staff report