(Staff photo by Lecia Forester)
A total of 140 entries participated in the 2012 Delta Fair Parade and according to Meg Benson, Delta Fair parade marshall, chair of the Delta Fair Parade Committee and executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, this number is up about 60 entrants over last year's.
According to Benson, after the judges votes were tallied, the float from Varner River Baptist Church, captured the First Place award. Other float winners included:
* Second Place- Old Broads' Club Plus One (last year's first place winner);
* Third Place-City Light Gas and Water (CGLW);
* Fourth Place-Red Hat Society of Portageville;
* Fifth Place-Black and Gold Farms.
Float winners were awarded the following cash prizes: first place - $700, second place - $500, third place - $400, fourth place - $300, and fifth place - $200.
Also participating in this year's parade were, bicycles, Dunklin County Sheriff's Department, Kennett Police Department, Sheriff's Department vehicles, Kennett Mayor's office, Osceola High School Jr. ROTC Color Guard, Kennett Fire Department, Kennett Fire Department "Fire Puppy," Kennett Middle School Marching Band, Delta Fair Royalty Group, Twin Rivers High School Marching Band, United Way, NHC, Senath Women's Club, St. Francis Park, Judge Spielman Express and Kiwanis Club, Heritage Nursing Center, Kent Hampton for Mo. House, Holcomb Daisy Troop 70187 with Troop leaders, Mindy Danley and Jennifer Ward, Holcomb Girl Scout Troop 40163 with Troop leaders Karen Tucker and Heather Wallace, Senath-Hornersville Middle School cheerleaders, TRRMC, Tom Todd for Mo. House, Polka Dot Rooster Boutique, North Pemiscot High School Marching Band, Kings and Queens of the Delta Fair Group, Delta C-7 High School Marching Band, Leah Jo's Twirlers, Bootheel Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Wolf Scouts Dens three, four, and seven/Pack 89 with Kennett Troop leaders, Jay Patterson and Kim Cannon, Tiger Cubs Den Nine with Troop leaders Brandi Rister, and Erik Williams, Rotary Club, Bootheel Antique Tractor Club, Dunklin Day Activity Center, La Danza, Terry Swinger for Mo. House, KHS Fall Play Cast/Crew, Three Rivers Community College, Doug Libla for Senate, Legacy Hospice, Clarkton High School FCCLA Club, Clarkton High School Marching Band, Kennett School of Performing Arts, Democratic Central Committee of Dunklin County, Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate, Chris Koster for Mo. Attorney General, Clint Zweifel for Mo. State Treasurer, KHS Lady Indians Basketball Team, Holcomb Volunteer Fire Department, Portageville Fire Department, Clarkton Fire Department, Jack Rushin for U.S. Congress, KMS Cheerleaders, Spence for Governor, Malden High School Marching Band, local pageant winners, Rob Mayer for Circuit Judge, Holcomb High School FCCLA Club, Holcomb High School Cheerleaders, Holcomb Jr/Sr High School Marching Band, Steve Mitchell for Circuit Judge, KHS SWAT Team, Antique Cars, Delta Blues Fish House, Hayti High School Marching Band, Hispanic Baptist Church of Blytheville, Jeanie Herbst for Dunklin County Commissioner, District one, Aaron's Sales and Rentals, Act for SEMO, Ron Huber for Dunklin County Commissioner, District one, BAILS, Caruthersville High School Marching Band, Dunklin County Coroner, Zero Gravity Cheerleaders, Pumpkin Hollow Float, Horror in the Hollow, Fisher Delta Research Center, Rent ONE, "Carry the Cross" Group, Hefner Furniture and Appliance, River Valley in Home, Campbell Jr/Sr High School Marching Band, Caruthersville Fire Department, Senath Fire Department, New Wave Communication, Harmony Underwood Carpentry, Verizon Wireless/Russell Cellular, MBRC, Inc., Semo Options Senior Services, Raben Tire, American Red Cross, Bootheel Cotton Haulers, Kennett High School Marching Band, Horses, and the Kennett Police Department.
Benson noted that the reason for the larger number of entrants for this year's parade was the heavy promotion that was done on area radio stations this year in addition to the marketing that the chamber has always done using other outlets such as the DDD, social media, YHC Channel 21 TV broadcasts, chamber e-mail and U.S. Postal communications and chamber word of mouth promotion.
"The effectiveness of the Chamber communication is because the Chamber membership has grown so much this year, that we had lots more people to communicate with. We had more of everything this year, more floats, more marching bands, more business entries, more politicians (this being a national election year) and, of course, more beauty queens. The business entries category was satisfying, because we had new entries from lots of new places that haven't been in the parade before, like Hefner's Furniture in Poplar Bluff and Black & Gold Potato Farms in Arbyrd (these, likely being the result of the radio promotion). We are also happy, because we had a lot of unique entries this year in terms of creativity, and lots more floats, because we heavily encouraged entrants to think "outside the box" and get creative with their entries. not just a car with a sign on it. We are also pleased with the tight flow of the parade line-up and the length of time it took to proceed, being so much longer this year. We encouraged units to flow as closely together as possible."
According to Benson a few of the creative business entries from towns other than Kennett included Hefner's in Poplar Bluff, Black and Gold Farms in Arbyrd and the giant fiberglass catfish float from Delta Blues Fish Company, a new restaurant in Malden.