Everyone loves a Moorhead parade!

The Moorhead High School Band follow close on the heels of Mayor Shelly Carlson and City Manager Dan Mahli. (Photos/Nancy Hanson)

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

Moorheaders of every age lined the sidewalks of Center Avenue Friday for the Greater Moorhead Days parade – following a new route and gathering new applause for the tradition.

The parade has been a highlight of the annual fall celebration of all things Moorhead since the event’s first year in 1950. The Center route had been planned to replace the previous 20-block trek up 20th Street South a year ago. But when the pandemic preempted the procession in 2020, the parade went virtual, with area organizations and businesses submitting video to be edited into an online alternative.

“We got together with the other sponsors early last year to tweak the plan to bring more life to downtown,” Parks and Recreation event specialist Trevor Magnuson reports. “Then it turned out we had to wait another year to bring it together.

“It was terrific to see it finally happen this time. And the weather was absolutely perfect.”

Some 70 businesses and organizations preregistered to take part, lining up between 11th and 14th Streets in the moments before 6 o’clock. If spectators were counting, though, they saw quite a few more groups of marchers, floats and vehicles come their way. “A fair number just showed up to participate,” Trevor notes, “and that was just fine with us.”

Those who watched the parade generally agreed, he says, that the shorter route compared favorably to the far longer former passage. “We got quite a few positive comments about that,” he says. “The larger numbers seemed to add to the fun.”

He had no figures for the amount of candy that was tossed to both curbs as the parade made its way west. The candy count, at any rate, was most impressive, adding greatly to the festivities for the youngsters scrambling to fill their bags with Starbursts, M&Ms and other sweet treasures.

That, he says, may be one secret to Friday’s excellent turn-out: “People just seem to follow the smell of candy.” He adds, “I think everyone had their fair share of fun.”

More photos can be found on page 11.

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