“The heavy downpour quit just in time for the parade to go on as planned.”
Taking the detour to prevent muddy road mishap, it was an hour drive to the fairgrounds starting location.
Obviously, many others were anticipating parade participation as dozens of horses, floats, and other entries were already waiting in line.
Exactly, 2 o’clock, the annual Flint Hills Rodeo parade from Cottonwood Falls to the Strong City rodeo arena was underway.
Not even a sprinkle dropped during the hourlong route with an enjoyable time for everybody although spectator viewing seemed low.
Quite the contrast to 59 years ago, the first-time riding in that rodeo parade. Then, the rain never did stop, although there were still plenty of parade entrants and spectators too.
Although missing a number of those parades through the decades, other times remain quite memorable. That first one sticks out like it was right now.
First year to own Spot, there was no way to get there until an elderly cowboy offered a ride. It was already pouring down when loading into his truck at the old railroad stockyards.
Same parade starting point as nowadays, lots of horses and dedicated riders participated without complaining. Certainly, an exciting time for the 12-year-old wannabe cowboy in his first rodeo parade. Rain never letdown as the rodeo also went on with ample spectators.
Several different horses have been used for the parade with not everyone remembered.
A raised-ranch gray gelding called The Wonderful Zane pranced high headed all the way through one year. Those riding along insisted, “Don’t hold his head so tight,” but directions were not followed, thus preventing a runaway.
Another year the nice-headed sorrel gelding called Jaguar was most enjoyable to ride. He even received a compliment from Mr. Roberts, who had organized the rodeo years earlier. “That’s a better-looking horse than you usually ride,” he said.
The fringed top carriage was used in the parade at least two years. That big grey gelding called Silver made a nice-looking outfit, but his anxiousness was hazardous to say the least.
Mae the bay draft mare pulling the fancy vehicle a couple of years later was sure safer.
Some “real cowboys” belittle parades, but they are fun for many others.
Reminded of Mark 12:38: They like to parade and bestow greetings to bystanders.”