MAIN STREET: Filling out parade entry forms 101

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Parade season is gearing up, and every year I intend to give suggestions to those who will fill out the parade applications/entry forms. My perspective comes from years of organizing parades, announcing parades and participating in parades. In the whole big scheme of things this isn’t a task that requires a degree in form filling-out, but it can assist the announcer and answer questions that parade participants have about why the announcer didn’t say something specific as their entry passed by.

Often the form is filled out by someone in the office or someone who won’t actually be with the entry on parade day. When a form asks for a description of the entry, don’t do what a fire department has done in the past and write “big red trucks.” Admittedly that’s amusing, but when their entry passes by, it would be preferable to be able to inform the spectators that the truck holds a zillion gallons of water or the ladder reaches three stories and that the fire department covers 50 square miles of the town. How many calls does the department roll on every year? Identifying who’s driving the truck or riding on the truck is also good.

In the 30 seconds or so that the announcer talks about your entry, it’s fun to mention interesting factoids about the organization, agency, company or community being represented.

On the flip side, attaching a full page, single-spaced narrative about the history and mission of the organization isn’t helpful either. Refer back to the 30 seconds or so that the announcer has to talk about your entry before the next one comes into view. Edit your information so that the key points are the ones that you, not the announcer, chooses.

Be specific. If there’s royalty, name them. If it’s an antique vehicle, provide the year — and if the owner is the driver, include their name. And if you have royalty riding in a car that’s been borrowed, name the driver/owner of the car.

In full disclosure, I’ll be in the announcer’s skybox on Sherman Avenue again this year for the Fourth of July parade. Having lived here for decades, I can sometimes wing it when I don’t have information at hand from the entry form. The goal is to celebrate the occasion and all of those in our communities who make it so great. So help out the old woman with a microphone who really wants to identify people by name. Thanks in advance.

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Ryan Davis’ post in recognition of his 23rd wedding anniversary was sweet. “True love starts in a variety of ways. For me it was a piece of paper with a name and 7 digits. I was so out of my league and yet she still gave me her real number. (Yes, it was a landline).”

But the accompanying photograph of that actual piece of paper with Jamé’s phone number, framed, was just about the most romantic thing ever. Congratulations Team Davis!

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The Wednesday morning quarterbacking following a contentious primary election will hopefully include discussions and committments to make seeking public office less of a blood sport.

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Things to Do Highlights: The Harald Haarfager Lodge of the Sons of Norway will celebrate syttende mai, Norwegian Constitution Day, with a flag raising at Falls Park in Post Falls on Thursday beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The local Sons of Norway have held the anniversary flag raising in Post Falls since 2001.

Family Promise Cardboard Box City and Walk starts at 2 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Saturday at Community United Methodist Church. 208-660-2732, cardboardboxcity@gmail.com.

Christian Youth Theater North Idaho opens “Hercules” on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Kroc Center. The show runs through May 27. www.cytni.org

Friday, Novel Destinations at the Coeur d’Alene Library will feature Kilimanjaro travels with Brian and Leslie Samuels at 7 p.m.

On Saturday a Royal Wedding and Tea Brunch at Jacklin Arts and Culture Center, 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tickets $25, director@thejacklincenter.org.

On Wednesday, May 23 Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s Broadway on a Boat, two-hour cruise with a preview of songs from the 2018 main stage musicals. $30 per person. 208-660-2958.

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Happy Wednesday Birthday today to Wednesday Walton, Diane Wahl, Kari Malkovich, Cindy Barnes, Natalie Fritz (1!) and Michelle Richter. Tomorrow Bryan Myers, Jared Janke, Brad Finney, Shawntel Shofner, Brad Enders (50!) and Christine Brannon blow out the candles. Friday will be a another trip around the sun for Vicki Isakson, Jeanne Helstrom, Amy Corbett, Larry Carstensen, Tom Ball, Corky Chadderdon, Richard Alderman, Shaun Johnson and Tina Haskin. Putting on their party hats on Saturday are Laura Stensgar, Tom Lien, Vera Brown, Julie Kohut, Jessica Smalley, Tammy Rupinski and Rick Nowoj. On Sunday Jeannie Steele, Heather Hart, Barry White, John Goedde, Billie Gross (60!), Shawn Nash, Tina Smith, Jana Hull and Lindsay Herbert blow out the candles. Jessica Bauman, Ruth Fullwiler, Jessica Capaul, Dick Epstein, KV Nelson, Pam Freeman and Carter Hamby celebrate the day of their birth on Monday. Kalil Barkie, Michelle Fehling Purcell, Fred Glisson, Ken Keast, Tasha Seath and Jonathan Larson celebrate on Tuesday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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