PURCELL — The wagon train that left Lawton on April 11 and pulled into the McClain County’s Expo Center early Wednesday afternoon, hoping to beat the spring storm that was forecast for central Oklahoma later that day.
The riders and their teams were hoping to take refuge inside the building in preparation for the ride to Norman and participation in Saturday’s 10 a.m. ’89er Day parade on Main Street.
Wagon master Robert Palmer said the six wagons and numerous riders on horseback will visit schools in Purcell and Lexington before heading to a Slaughterville Ranch for tonight’s camp.
“There will be a lot of people out here Thursday,” Palmer said. “We’ll visit the nursing home and the schools here and in Lexington.”
A couple of the wagons had to leave the trek to get home to Arkansas. Palmer said they have had no weather problems and only one ugly incident with a car.
“We sent an SUV after them and got their tag,” he said.
Also Wednesday, parade organizers announced that area schools are providing more bands than ever before.
A couple of years ago, the parade committee invited Fred Queen, Noble marching band director, to join their efforts and specifically requested that he work on increasing the number of bands for the parade.
“His results exceeded the committee’s anticipation,” said committee chairman Charles Hollingsworth.
Those marching in the 2013 ’89er Day Parade are Noble High School, Noble Middle High, Lexington High School, Capitol Hill High School Drum Line, Blanchard High School and Southeast High School.
Norman North Jazz Band will entertain at the judge’s stand just prior to the official kickoff of the parade.
Another marching band returning as a tradition of the ’89er Day Parade is the U.S. Army Band stationed at Ft. Sill Army Base.