Submitted photo

The St. Paul Shriners ride their Mighty Mites in a parade.  The Shriners will bring their mini cars to Chatfield's Western Days parade on Saturday, Aug. 13.
Submitted photo The St. Paul Shriners ride their Mighty Mites in a parade. The Shriners will bring their mini cars to Chatfield's Western Days parade on Saturday, Aug. 13.
A “dashing and debonair” Trigger will be among the more than 95 units in the 49th annual Western Days grand parade, according to Western Days secretary Pam Bluhm.

Trigger is the Chatfield Western Days’ giant horse mounted on an Astroturf-covered wagon pulled through the grand parade Saturday, Aug. 13, at 1 p.m. The celebration also features two other parades, a kiddie parade Friday evening and a Chatfield Fire Department 125th anniversary parade Sunday afternoon.

The grand parade is a celebration of hometown neighborliness, a collection of people coming together to show off just how proud they are of being from around the area. The parade features local churches, vacation Bible schools, Just for Kix dancers, Chatfield’s very own “Elvis” (Brad Boice), fire departments from Chatfield and Fountain and a retired firefighters’ float. There will be a lot of music in the parade – the Chatfield High School marching band, the Chatfield Brass Band, the Rochester Caledonian Pipe Band, the New Blue Denim Farmers, the Austin Shrine Band and different floats with their own music. There will be tractors, antique cars, bicycles, plenty of clowns riding things and Shrine units from Austin, Albert Lea, Rochester, northeast Iowa and St. Paul.

Bluhm shared that a particularly shiny – and fast -- part of the parade is the St. Paul Osman Shrine Mighty Mites, a collection of gents riding some of the quickest and tiniest big horsepower. The motorized parade and competition unit is dedicated to the Shrine Hospitals for Children and the kids they serve. This unit consists of a variety of miniature cars including ‘32 Ford Street Rods, ‘36 Ford Cabriolets, and Micro Cup cars such as ones seen at a NASCAR event. The cars will perform figure eights, leapfrogs, circles, cross-overs and more.

There will be several big horse hitches, including the Steffenses, Goldsmiths, Schreibers and Kenny Woltz. Of course the Chatfield Saddle Club with Renee Campion as grand parade grand marshal will lead the parade.

“And my favorite honorary grand marshal will be in the parade, too…Mr. Roy Lange, one of Chatfield’s senior businessmen,” said Bluhm.

The parade will roll rain or shine. It starts on Main, goes to Sixth, right onto Bench, comes back and ends on County 2.

“Bring your chairs and blankets to sit on the sidewalk or on the curb, and bags for the kids to put their candy in, because there will be candy,” said Bluhm, who also advised parents to keep a close watch on their children because of the hazards of cars, giant tractors and even giant horses going by.

“We’ve worked hard to make this parade a great one for people to come and see,” said Bluhm. “It’s a year-round project that starts right after the parade is over. We hope that everyone has a good time at the Western Days parade.”

The kiddie parade rounds City Park on Friday, Aug. 12, as children up to age 10 put on their western gear or their most creative costumes and saddle up their wagons, strollers and bicycles to show off how their spurs go jingle-jangle-jingle as they go riding merrily along. Parade line-up begins at 6:15 p.m. in front of the Chatfield Center for the Arts, and the parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Bluhm stated that she hopes to see many of Chatfield’s half-pints in the parade and promised that each one would receive a treat bag.

“It’s a great little parade…the kids are so cute, and it’s a good time for people of all ages to come and see them all dressed up,” she said.

Chatfield’s Fire Department is marking its 125th anniversary this year, and that means it’s high time that all the fire engines and pumper trucks get a go ‘round the block during the fire department parade on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 1 p.m.

“We don’t know what to expect, but we hope to have an array of antique to modern fire trucks and equipment,” said Bluhm. “The Chatfield department will be there, of course, and we’d like to see fire departments from other towns, too, to help us celebrate how long Chatfield has had firefighters.”

For more information on any part of the parades planned for Western Days, call 507-867-3870 or stop at The Chatfield News, 212 Main St., Chatfield.