Frontier Days on parade

One of the things that’s very important when attending the annual Frontier Days Parade is staying comfortable as the floats, bands and elected officials walk down Central Avenue

Mike Becker, of Fort Dodge, took care of that Saturday morning by using a reclining lawn chair.

“It was a birthday present,” he said. “This seemed like a good place try it.”

How was it working out?

“It’s very comfortable,” he said.

Of course, reclining along a parade route does come with a hazard or two – it makes it difficult to dodge flying candy.

Did he sustain a few direct hits?

“Absolutely,” he said.

He opted to pass the sugary missiles on.

“I gave it to our neighbors,” he said.

While those who neglected to bring a bag for candy to the parade were few and far between, Javontae Sankey, 11, of Algona, took advantage of free ones being handed out along the route.

He took two – one for candy, the other to use as a hat.

“It’s a great hat,” he said.

He did have a practical purpose for it though.

“It’s to keep my head from getting rained on,” he said.

Like all parade-goers, he has his parade candy preferences. He said he prefers chocolates and Tootsie Rolls.

Nathanial Madden, 11, of Fort Dodge, was ready with candy collection bag too. Early into the floats, it was not quite full.

“I don’t have much,” he said.

He wasn’t planning on eating the entire take all at once although sharing with his siblings wasn’t on the agenda either.

He did have one concern, probably unfounded.

“She steals my candy,” Madden said while looking at his mom.

For Bethany Gracier, 9, of Fort Dodge, filling up a candy container was not on the schedule. Dressed in a bunny costume, she was busy emptying container after container from the Moose Lodge 806 float.

“I keep getting more and more,” she said.

While the parade features mostly humans and their floats, tractors and banners, a few canine participants walked the parade route too.

One of those, Ace, a 5-year-old golden retriever, led his human, Niki Cummins, as the pair tossed candy on behalf of Iowa Central Community College.

“He loves it,” she said.

They prepared for the excursion.

“We did walk up and down our road,” she said.

The only problem, Ace was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to retrieve the tossed treats, Cummins said.

The parade kicked off Saturday’s Frontier Days events that were held at the Fort Museum.

Frontier Days will continue today with gates at the Fort opening at 10 a.m.