Welcome and thanks for parade weekend

Julia Hart

Today (Friday) marks the beginning of Sunshine Days, a weekend I always enjoy... this year, more than ever, because I get to give out the Mayor’s Choice Trophy during Saturday’s float judging prior to the start of the Sunshine Days Parade.

I’m thinking of buying a new hat for the occasion. Yes, I’m excited.

Sunshine Days will begin with a tailgate party Friday at Sunnyside High School, prior to the football game. Go Grizzlies.

Saturday’s events begin with the firemen’s pancake feed Saturday morning at 7 a.m. at the fire station, followed by the parade at 10 a.m.

The parade begins at the High School and follows Edison Avenue to Homer Street. The parade grand marshal is my friend Teri Alvarez Ziegler.

She has been a huge supporter of the Miss Sunnyside programs and Sunshine Days for years, so it is nice the event committee, run by the Miss Sunnyside program board have selected her to lead the parade.

So, as Mayor, I have proclaimed Sept. 14 and 15, as Sunshine Days. I want to thank everyone from the Lower Valley Color Guard to the police officers and reserves, who line the streets during the parade, for their support of the celebration.

I commend the Miss Sunnyside Program for carrying on the September traditional celebration which has taken place on the third weekend of September since the early 1970s.

I remember covering the Sunshine Days meetings when Dan Hamblet, the owner of the city’s Mode O Day store at the corner of Edison and South Sixth Street, first suggested the event.

Over the years, I attended the committee meetings and worked with Mary Lee Robinson, Linda Egley, George Sleater, and then Mayor Don Hughes, among others who encouraged the local business people on Sixth and Edison to hold sidewalk sales. They invited the community to sell crafts, food and other goodies as a part of the street fair.

I can’t remember exactly when the firemen began hosting their pancake breakfasts, but I have been a devoted attendee for years.

Over the years, I’ve been in the parade and have taken thousands of photographs of the parade entrants for the newspaper, an event that was always fun.

I’m also looking forward to attending the always crowded Miss Sunnyside Pageant on Saturday, in the high school auditorium.

I’ll be in the audience cheering on the candidates all vying for the title of Miss Sunnyside. I am grateful, I don’t have to make the final decision.

We’ll also be saying good-bye to the current court, who have served their community well as ambassadors here and on the road advertising the merits of visiting Sunnyside.

Miss Sunnyside Janessa Frank, and Princesses Kylah Bunch, Laurissa Ruiz and Trinity Hamil have done an outstanding job as Sunnyside ambassadors. Thank you ladies and a big thank you to our parents, without who’s support the journey would have not gone as well.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the Harrison Middle School organizers of the 17th annual 9/11 memorial ceremony held Tuesday at the school.

The program was beautifully executed. The middle school band and choir were wonderful. Their talents and voices raised in salute to the city’s firemen, law enforcement and veterans was touching and a proper recognition of Patriot’s Day.

I am proud and humbled to represent the city at all events celebrating our diverse community and its residents.

Come join me.

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