(Publisher’s note: I had the honor of being one of the float judges at this year’s Fair Parade. All of them were incredible.)
The empty chairs lined the streets throughout downtown beginning early Saturday morning, Aug. 25, for what some people might say is the highlight of the Chelsea Community Fair week. The chairs and tarps were saving spots in prime locations along the parade route. Some were positioned under trees for shade; others set up under tents. Some even had built-in umbrellas.
Led off by a Chelsea Police Department motorcycle rider, the fair parade took place under hot but bright sunny skies lasting more than an hour. There were fire trucks and marching bands, horses and mules, chickens and lambs. Tractors, classic cars and hearses, fair contestants, community groups and local businesses.
Veterans, toddlers, young, old and every age in between waved and tossed candy to the hundreds of people who lined the streets in their “regular spots,” waving and smiling, catching up with old friends, who perhaps, they hadn’t seen since last year’s fair. Tail gates and parties are scheduled around this truly special hometown event.
Spectators watched as police cars, business vehicles, smashed up derby cars and trucks passed by on flatbeds, highlighted by the Jiffy mix semi, and all those free boxes of Jiffy mix that are handed out along the route.
And since 2012 is a busy local election year, there were lots of current and hopeful politicians — from state rep to judge, board of commissioner and even Dexter Township candidates — represented. And, a contingent already holding offices as well.