The route has changed, but the turnout at the parade for the annual Rochester Country Fair remained true to years past with solid attendance that featured 52 farm tractors, several floats, several classic cars, a go-cart, a military Jeep and numerous other vehicles.
Hundreds of spectators lined the streets to get a peek at the procession, which Event Co-Organizer Julie Koczera said was still in an experimental phase after moving the fair from Plumb Corner before last year’s event.
“We’re still on a trial basis – we still might change some things,” said Koczera as the parade was ending Sunday morning. Though changes may still be in the works, Koczera said that this year’s version could be considered a success.
Fair Committee member Bev Pierce noted that several different aspects of the parade are key to making it special, with several notable entrants being near the top of that list.
“We had some very interesting entrants this year,” Pierce said, which included a bone-biting jungle-man on one of a few of the safari-inspired floats to go with this year’s “Welcome to the Jungle”-themed fair, as well as a float with musical act The Relics, among several other notables. Pierce said she even saw a man in an green inflatable suit that had climbed a tree to get a good view of everything the parade had to offer.
At the top of Pierce’s list were the volunteers, who she said had been working hard around the clock to ensure that everything at the fair, including the parade, went smoothly. She said that they even had two families of volunteers staying in campers on the grounds to assure that someone was always there to handle any problems that might arise.
“We don’t let them out of the gate,” she said.
Several awards were given out for some of the best parade entrants, with Best Farm Tractor going to Michael Brodeur for his 2013 John Deere 6190R, Best Antique Vehicle going to Steven Manchester for his 1931 Chevy Coupe, Best Jungle-Themed Float going to George Rogers of Middleboro, and Best Military Vehicle to Scott Snider for his 1951 M38 Jeep.
Best Municipal Vehicle went to Rochester’s Fire Engine 1, Best Commercial Vehicle went to Shawn Foley for a1980 Extended Hood “Hearse.” Most Original went to Nancy Boutin for her VW Bug Jungle Float, and Most Historical went to George Rogers for his second win on the day.
By Nick Walecka