Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 7, 2013

Parade showcases Kokomo's rich history

Thousands pack downtown to watch the annual parade.

From the first cars produced by Elwood Haynes to the oldest locally owned business, the annual Haynes Apperson Festival parade Saturday emphasized Kokomo’s rich history.

Led by a 1968 Kokomo Police Department Harley Davidson driven by Capt. Heath Haalck, the parade featured more than 30 motorcycles, 70 automobiles and a host of floats from area businesses and organizations. Also on display were Haynes automobiles from 1902, 1918 and 1921.

“It took me a while to get used to it,” said Haalck of driving the older-model Harley.

“The throttle is on the left side instead of the right and the clutch is down by the foot pedal,” he said. “It’s different.”

Haalck was followed by two newer police Harleys, KPD’s Color Guard and KPD’s mounted patrol.

“I like the old police motorcycle,” said Rob Martin as he stood at the corner of Mulberry and Market streets watching the start of the parade.

“The horses are pretty cool,” he said of KPD’s newly-formed four-horse patrol. “I guess they have a better vantage point sitting that high.”

Martin’s main focus was on seeing his wife, Michelle, daughter, Deanna, 15, and son, Jacob, 9, in the Community Howard float.

“This will be the first time I’ve watch the parade,” he said. “It brings back memories of when I was a kid.”

As for the festival, Martin said he liked the move from downtown to Foster Park.

“It’s pretty nice at the park last night,” he said. “I was at the [Here Come the Mummies] concert. It was a pretty good show and it was crowded.”

Parade goers were met with gray skies as they took their positions downtown to watch the parade. Fortunately, though, the rains stayed away and the parade went on as planned.

People lined the streets, some standing, some sitting in lawn chairs and other sitting on the curbs along the parade route as the cars, motorcycles, fire engines and floats wound their way through downtown.

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