Bright sunny weather, a national holiday and Tri-State Area pride rolled out a successful Labor Day Parade in Keokuk Monday.
"It was a good day, a good parade," said Nancy Riddle, co-chairman of the Parade Committee.
Parade watchers sought shade by the sides of buildings and some brought umbrellas. Plenty of candy was thrown and the usual scurry of children and some parents resulted as they scooped up tootsie rolls, lollipops, mini-frisbies, Mardi Gras beads, water and more.
Jerry Jerome, head coach of the Keokuk High School girls basketball team that finished second in the state this year, was the grand marshal.
The parade started from Fourth and Main, culminating at County Market and Faith Family Church 16 blocks away.
"It was a very good turnout," said Riddle. "We had more entries this year than we've had before. And Quincy High School's marching band participated in our parade for the second time. I heard from Seventh Street on out, it was packed with spectators. I know around 14th Street, by Keasling's Pharmacy and Gifts, it was shoulder to shoulder."
Six area high school marching bands, a "semi-marching band" - McNamara's Band rides on a flat bed truck - and musically-enhanced floats and dance teams added greatly to the festive air.
With the theme, "Make It Happen," floats represented Keokuk, faith, fun, flowers and summer activities.
Awards for entries were:
Best of Parade - County Market. The float depicted the Keokuk wall at Gateway Park surrounded by flowers.
Best use of theme: First place, County Market; second place, First Lutheran Church, with a Sunday School classroom on a float; and third place, Tri-State Young Life, a carousel.
Best antique entry: First place, Jerry Hamilton; second place, Jeff Jeffers.
Best union entries: First place, Local 444; second place, Alliant Energy; and third place, 3311 Keokuk Steel Castings.
Best walking entries: First place, Keokuk Catholic Schools and Cardinal Stritch Dance Team; second place, Keokuk Area Hospital; and third place, Wal-Mart.
Most humorous award went to: Karaoke By Day and Pizza Plus, featuring three overalled-dancers in straw hats dancing and singing.
Originality awards were given to: First place, United Way; and second place, Rairden's Towing & Used Parts. ("We Make it Happen When Your Car is Napping.")
Best religious entries were won by: First place, First Lutheran Church; second place, First Christian Church and third place, Trinity United Methodist Church.
Dave's Old Fashion Meat Market, Montrose, won for best two-or-more hitch horse-drawn wagon.
Cassidy Stice received a trophy for youngest horse rider; Gale Stice was voted the best-dressed boy in Western wear.
The oldest rider honored was Carla Miller.
First State Bank of Western Illinois won for Best Wagon, driven by Leo Hanks.
Riddle said winning entries should pick up their trophies at KOKX radio station.