Small-town life was celebrated big-time on Saturday as families came out to celebrate the place they are proud to call home — Parrish.
Families from the northern Manatee County community and elsewhere lined 121st Avenue on Saturday morning to celebrate Parrish Heritage Day with the annual parade kicking off the festivities.
Alyssa Mays, 9, proudly gathered the loot she had caught during the parade with dozens of beads around her neck and a smile on her face.
The caravan of horses was a favorite part of the parade for Alyssa and many other spectators.
“They were so big,” Alyssa said. “There was a brown and white one that looked like a cow — that was my favorite.”
Alyssa had never been to the Parrish Heritage Day parade, but she regularly attends other parades around the area, she said.
“My grandpa does a lot of parades,” Alyssa said as she smiled at all the candy and chocolate she had stuffed into her overflowing pink purse.
Along the parade route, Granny and Pop’s Kettlecorn set up shop, selling their tasty snack to parade-goers. Owners Patti and Dennis Harvin of Palmetto were just as happy to be conducting business at the annual event as they were watching the parade.
“It was nice; a lot of participation,” Patti Harvin said. Added her husband, Dennis: “Especially for a community this size.”
It was their first time at the annual parade. But it wasn’t all business. A portion of their proceeds Saturday will be donated to the United Methodist Church, the couple said.
Parrish resident Wolly Carpenter, 76, watched the parade with delight.
“It’s a lot more fun than I thought, even for me,” Carpenter said.
For Carpenter, a resident of Parrish for five years since moving from Clearwater, it was her first time watching the Heritage Day parade. She was already looking forward to next year’s parade and bringing her great-grandchildren, whom she said would be old enough by then to enjoy it.
In fact, her favorite part was watching all the children participating in the parade.
“I loved the karate performance by the kids, and of course I always appreciate that veterans are in a parade,” Carpenter said.
Since moving to Parrish, she had enjoyed attending other events held locally.
“It’s great what Parrish is doing here having all these events. It’s going to be a growing town,” Carpenter said. “I expect a lot of good things here in Parrish.”