Leila Case: Traffic halts for a parade like no other

Published 10:10 pm Friday, October 26, 2018

Where else but Americus do three busy downtown thoroughfares close for a parade of costumed animals and their masters?
I remember vividly the first year I went to the Americus Kiwanis Club’s annual Pet Parade in the 1970s. I could hardly believe my eyes. Children and their pets that run the gamut from chickens to gold fish and the regular cat and dog varieties march in review through the downtown’s hustling business district.
Along with the children and their creatively dressed pets in tow another aspect that always amazes me is the traffic is halted at each end of the parade route, a state and federal highway no less. Drivers patiently wait in their vehicles with motors humming for the whimsical parade to pass by.
Where else in the entire nation does this happen? Probably nowhere. Americus is a unique community, and I love living here.
The 2018 Pet Parade Tuesday will again feature a coterie of children and their beloved pets. Thank you. Americus Kiwanis Club, for continuing this annual event that has a colorful history and reaches back to the late 1930s. It is a wonderful tradition many of us wouldn’t miss. I am a faithful follower and I hope you are, too.
Hurricane Michael cleanup continues throughout the city and county and progress is being made, however, it will take months before those hit the hardest will entirely recover, especially pecan and cotton farmers.
Besides Hurricane Michael cleanup, there were many fun highlights last week that included visiting with Ed and JoAnn Pope, Mary Marshall, Charles and Becky Pryor, Greg and Karen Austin, Burton and Elaine Thomas, John and Rachel Shealy, Mary and Dan Torbert, Mike and Andrea Powell, Jane and Ricky Arnold, Steve and Jeannie Stanfield, Sam and Reba Hunter, Rick and Genie Powell, who recently returned from the wedding of their niece, Lisa Bowen, in Spain. And we even took in the annual Peter Millar trunk show uniquely staged in an historic barn at the country home of Hulme and Janet McNeill Kinnebrew. Among those I talked with from out of town were Janet’s sisters, Ann and her husband Henry Hart II of Albany, and Mary Collier of Lake Blackshear, and scores of others.
Meanwhile, Paul and Linda Fuller Degelmann said the party must go on despite two trees falling on the roof of their home on Parkers Mill Creek Road during the hurricane. They hosted the monthly “wine tasters,” a group that has been meeting more than 30 years. There we enjoyed good food, wine and conversation with the Degelmanns, Herschel and Pam Smith, David and June Ewing, Bill and Carlanda Dragoin, Terrell and Janie Turner, Janet Siders, Frances McNeely, Henry and Nancy Peabody, Richard and Abbie Barringer and a number of others.
Janet Siders told me her grandchildren Maia, 13, and Isaiah, 11, recently visited from New Jersey and she took them to Six Flags, the Flint RiverQuarium in Albany, Providence Canyon, Andersonville, white water rafting in Columbus, and Habitat’s Global Village. Then Janet and the children flew to Spain for a week visiting Valencia and Barcelona and dinner with former Americus residents Paco and Carolina Paredes and daughter, Eva Peredes, who reside in Guardamar del Segura. Paco taught business classes at Georgia Southwestern State University and is a tennis standout, having played on the national finals tennis team and coached tennis here.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Andy and Kristin Perry Gordon on the birth of their son, Andrew Grayson Gordon, who was born Oct. 15.
Two out of town events today will draw lots of local residents: the annual UGA vs University of Florida football game in Jacksonville, and a cocktail buffet at the St. John’s Island, S.C., home of former Andersonville resident, Becky Holloway Price, and Edward Myrick. Preparing the delicious delicacies for the event? Of course, Becky’s brother, Leon Holloway.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.