Photo by JC Amberlyn.
KINGMAN – About 100 entries including horses, high school bands and civic organizations will be marching through downtown Kingman in the 46th annual Andy Devine Days Parade that starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The parade route starts at Beale Street and First Street and runs east to Fifth Street, turns north on Fifth to Oak Street, then comes back down Oak toward Lee Williams High School. It ends at Second and Spring.
Yvonne Cossio, superintendent of recreation and director of the parade since 2006, said a lot of work goes into the parade lineup.
“We need space between the bands,” she said. “Horses get anxious, so we try to get the horses through as soon as possible, but we don’t want to put horses in front of a band and have them dropping … well, you know what I mean.”
Grand marshals for this year’s parade are Dries Bessels and Marion Flimm, both inductees in the Route 66 Walk of Fame on downtown sidewalks. They were selected by the City Council.
Bessels is chairman of the Dutch Route 66 Association and attended the International Route 66 Festival in Kingman in 2014. He completed his 10th Route 66 trip this year from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Unlike the Christmas Parade of Lights and the Veterans Day Parade in Kingman, entry to the Andy Devine Days Parade is free, which Cossio said a lot of people don’t realize. She’ll be taking late entries until her office closes around 5 p.m. today. Call 757-7979.
High school bands from Kingman, Lee Williams and Mohave (Bullhead City) have committed to the parade, along with a band on a flatbed trailer sponsored by Potter’s House.
More than 50 horses are in the parade, along with community dignitaries such as Kingman Mayor Richard Anderson, Vice Mayor Carole Young and Mohave County Supervisor Jean Bishop.
Cossio said she watched her first Andy Devine Days Parade when she moved to Kingman from Los Angeles in 1999.
“All I could think is what did I do? Move to inferno land? It was so hot, and I was pregnant and needed shade,” she said.
“I think Andy Devine Days has a lot of history. It’s one of Kingman’s greatest attributes and it’s one of our free offerings and it recognizes Andy Devine. I think for the size of our town and community, it’s a pretty big parade.”
Parade prizes include the Sweepstakes Award (best overall entry); performance (bands, dancers, tumblers); three categories for horses (leather, silver and group novelty); four categories for antique and classic vehicles; and three categories for floats (civic, youth and commercial).
There will be an announcer and judges at the reviewing stand at Fourth and Beale streets, and new this year is a sound system throughout the entire parade route. About 5,000 spectators attended last year’s parade.