Awards in each category:
Holiday Spirit Traveling Plaque – Nex-Tech
2nd – Stoneridge Country Club
3rd – Simpson Farm
4th- Eagle Tire
1st – Foundry Methodist
1st – Golden Belt Humane Society
2nd – Great Bend Saddle Club with friends S&S Stables
3rd – Salvation Army
2nd- Cub Scout Pack 157
3rd – Euphoria Dance Centre
1st – Eugene Seibert
2nd – John Vseteka
3rd – Dick Friedeman
1st – Cub Scout Pack 157
2nd – Euphoria Dance Centre
3rd – The Fieldhouse
Sunflower Diversified Services wishes to thank all the Parade Sponsors, Judges, Master of Ceremonies, Participants, Volunteers, and Spectators.
Last year, shoppers were few on Main Street for Small Business Saturday, as a cold, wet ice storm gathered strength, blowing in just prior to when the much anticipated holiday parade was to start. City officials worked to get the word out the parade would be cancelled as a safety measure. Fast forward to last Saturday night, and the pleasant weather more than made up for last year’s loss, as the people of Great Bend began lining Main Street, some even foregoing jackets.
This was the 11th year Sunflower Diversified Services sponsored the Home for the Holidays Parade for the city of Great Bend. Sarah Krom, one of the SDS staffers that help coordinate the parade remembers there was a period before then that Great Bend had no parade.
“Years ago there was a daytime parade sponsored by an economic development group. When that group ceased to exist the parade ceased,” she said.
Sunflower was looking for a way to give back to the community that had supported it for 40 years. A parade could help to revive a fondly remembered community event, and could bring people together to celebrate their home town, they realized.
Sunflower brought its idea to the City of Great Bend, and both the city and Great Bend’s Chamber of Commerce were pleased to help. Sunflower formed an advisory committee and helped get things rolling for the first couple of years, Krom said. As support grew for the parade, and the city hired a Community Coordinator, much of the coordination of the accompanying events shifted, but Sunflower continues to coordinate the parade.
The Home for the Holidays Parade is a judged parade, so participants have the extra incentive of placing, receiving recognition for their hard work and creativity. Entries in the Business category also have the opportunity to win the Holiday Spirit Traveling Plaque. This year, with the theme “Star Spangled Holiday,” the top honor of Grand Marshal’s Best in Parade went to Nex-Tech. The company also place first in the Float category.
“Judges had their work cut out for them as this year’s parade was packed with exceptional entries in all the categories that depicted the theme in a variety of ways,” Krom said.