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October 7, 2013

Parade kicks off week of Harvest Homecoming events

NEW ALBANY —

Gray clouds and light rain didn’t stop a large crowd from flooding the streets Saturday for the Harvest Homecoming Parade.

Nearly 120 floats made a grand procession from New Albany High School, traveling along Spring Street to the intersection of Elm and Bank streets.

In celebration of New Albany’s historic 200-year anniversary, the parade’s theme was “Harvest to History.”

Many of the parade’s entries recognized New Albany’s bicentennial, including the New Albany Fire Department’s float, which had an early-19th century manual water pump feeding water to extinguish a fire in a home with a sign dating the building to 2013.

Two firefighters dressed in gear worn 200 years ago playfully manned the pump during the parade, spraying the home oozing with faux smoke.

“It brings together today’s firefighting with yesteryear,” said New Albany Fire Chief Matt Juliot of the festive float.

Juliot gave credit to NAFD Capt. Dave “Sparky” Sparks for building the impressive float, and said by having his firefighters participate in the parade, the department is able to make a connection with the community.

One of the parade’s most festive participants, Mark Sanders, represented the East Spring Street Neighborhood Association by dressing in a colonial-era garb made of gold sequins and wearing a large paper-mache pumpkin on his head.

The neighborhood group had a carefully designed, autumnal-styled float decorated in blossoming mums of seasonal oranges, reds and yellows.

“Most of us live on East Spring Street, the street that the parade goes down, so it’s almost a no-brainer that we should be a part of it,” said Sanders of the neighborhood association, which he serves as the vice president. “We just feel it is something we should do to support the community.”

Sanders said his flashy wardrobe is a big hit among parade-goers.

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