Corning Olive Parade delights crowd
By GEOFF JOHNSON -DN Staff Writer 08/25/2008
A go-cart from the Chico Shriner's Club tears up Solano Street Friday evening... ( DN-Johnson )
CORNING Go-carts from the Chico Shriners Club revved and backfired, creating a sound like basketball-sized corn kernels popping, almost driving into the audience before swerving away to the tune of Benny Hill music.
A child Elvis beckoned residents to "shake, rattle, and roll." And city council candidate Toni Parkins waved from what may have been the city's largest truck.
Solano Street was packed Friday evening for the Olive Festival Parade and Bed Races, with children, adults and everyone in between jamming the sidewalks to get a look at the floats.
Like any good parade, someone (in this case, Les Schwab) threw candies into the audience, prompting children to run into the street and stop just shy of tripping or scraping their knees.
But there were plenty of treats on the sidelines, where impromptu vendors offered discount root-beer floats, dollar bottled water, hot dogs, soda and fruit salad.
At least a dozen stands and traveling, wagon-pulled choices were available at any given time.
For Corning High School students Shelly Long, 15, and Shae Mesaer, 14, a big part of the fun was seeing people they knew in the parade, they said. For that reason, the "drill team" was their favorite.
But Leticia Rico, cradling 1-year-old Mariela, said she comes for a different reason. For her, the bed races that follow the parade are the best part, where a friendly rivalry was celebrated between Corning PremierWest Bank and the Bell Carter Olive Packing Company.