NORMAN — Main Street echoed with the sounds of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” Saturday morning as crowds lining the street eagerly anticipated the start of Norman’s ’89er Day Parade.
A long-time city tradition, the annual event celebrates the Great Land Run of April 22, 1889, as well as the founding of Norman.
Quin Berry, current Noble resident raised in Norman, said she’s been coming to the parade for as long as she can remember.
Present with her family, 15-members strong, Berry said enjoying all of Norman’s parades is a tradition for her family, and one that reminds her of her Oklahoma pride.
“Everything,” Berry said on her favorite part of the parade. “Just watching the kids, the kids getting the candy and watching our parents in there with their car.”
Berry’s father was one of many riding his classic car through this year’s parade, themed “Workin’ Up a Storm,” running from Main Street and Pickard Avenue to Main Street and Crawford Avenue.
The parade kicked off around 10 a.m. with a presentation of colors by Cleveland County Public Safety Guard followed by music by the 77th United States Army Band of Fort Sill.
Grand Marshall Bob Goins, longtime Norman resident and University of Oklahoma professor, came afterwards in a carriage with his family.
Other entries included dozens of classic cars with Canadian River Cruisers Classic Car Club, as well as a variety of floats by Veterans of Foreign Wars, Prague Kolache Festival, National Weather Center, Norman teacher of the year and finalist, Sun & Ski Sports, Norman Public Library, 4C’s Gypsy Horses, Sooner Model A Club, Park Lane Veterinary Hospital, Oklahoma United States Marshals Posse, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, U.S. Submarine Veterans, Cub Scouts Pack 217, Gingerbread Nursery School & Kindergarten, Rivermont Retirement Community, Norman Music Festival, Blue HAWK (Helping Animals with Kindness) Foundation, Dental Depot, Canadian Rivers Old Iron Club and Norman Round Up Club.
Music was performed by various groups during the parade including Norman North High School jazz band, Oklahoma Scottish Pipes and Drums, Blanchard 7th and 8th grade band, Lexington High School band, Noble Middle High band and Capitol Hill High School drumline.
Also new this year, the parade committee acquired a turn of the century “surrey with the fringe on top” carriage. Saturday’s parade was its “official” launching. Special guests, Pat Sloan and Charles Peters, rode in the vintage carriage.
The parade ended with horse-drawn carriages with the Sooner Teamsters Trail Riders Association.
Parade entries were judged for 10 divisions: Floats, Round-Up Club, Music and Dance Groups, Auto, Trucks, Other Vehicles, Miscellaneous Children, Miscellaneous Adult, Equestrian and Other Animal.
Float winners are: First place Cub Scout Pack 217, second Gingerbread Nursery & Kindergarten and third U.S. Submarine Veterans. Round Up Club winners are first place Norman Round Up Club. Auto winners are first place Sooner Model A Club, second Carl McFarland and third Canadian River Cruisers Club. Miscellaneous (children) winners are first place Republic Bank & Trust with Truman Primary and second Prague Kolache Festival Royalty. Truck winners are first place Sun & Ski, second Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4’890 and third Norman Music Festival. Miscellaneous (adults) winners are first place Norman Public Library, second Arvest Bank and third Rivermont Retirement Community. Other vehicles winners are first place Canadian Rivers Old Iron Club, second National Weather Center and third First American Bank. Equestrian winners are first place U.S. Marshals Posse of Oklahoma and second 4Cs Gypsy Horses. Finally, Other Animals winners are first place Blue HAWK (Helping Animals with Kindness) Foundation.
This year’s judges were Valene Albert, Steve Rice, Sonya Sugg, Ann Ross, Judy Pitt, Alison Vinson, Ashley Adair-Garner and Roger Brown. This year’s announcers were Elizabeth and Rick Health, with photography by Gary Kramer, sound system by Adrian Buendia with Nexus Productions and parade line up by REACT Team.
Committee members for this year’s ‘89er Day Parade are Charles Hollingsworth, Wanda Danley, David Donaldson, Sandy Dunaway, Karin Ford, Mary Bess Gamel, Erinn Gavaghan, Mary Hatley, Jim Keesee, Gary Kramer, Mark A. Ledbetter, Michelle Linnemann, John Marsh, Don Mayes, Bill Nations, Mike Pullin, Fred Queen, Andy Rieger, Bob Rice, Tommy Thomas, Bob Thompson, Lori Thrower, Mary Jo Tinsley and Jennifer Tregarthen.
More information is available at the official ‘89er Day website, norman’89er.com.