Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2001

Leaders of the pack

Oleson and Reynolds have organized parades for more than a decade

July 26, 2001

For more than 10 years, two Eudorans have shown up to the CPA Picnic parades an hour to an hour and a half early. But they still don't get to watch the parade.

Trig Oleson and Mark Reynolds, who have organized the parades since around 1989, stay at the check-in points only to rush ahead of the parade at the last minute to announce the winners.

"It's one of those things you just can't get rid of," Oleson said of his role in CPA.

Before Friday's kids' parade, Jim Hopson and Kent Noble joined Oleson and Reynolds at the parking lot across from city hall at a green picnic table Noble had pulled to the site. Noble and Hopson handed out a carnival ticket for each participant while Oleson passed out registration numbers and Reynolds wrote down the names of the entries.

As the sun slid down in the sky, more participants poured out of minivans and other vehicles dressed in a motley assortment of costumes.

Since Oleson and Reynolds have been running the kids parade for more than a decade, they said pulling everything together isn't that complicated any more.

"We've pretty well got it down," Reynolds said.

Parade preparation includes soliciting prize money from area merchants.

"Most of them are good about it," Oleson said. "They know where their money is going. We don't have to do any arm twisting or anything."

Cheryl Becker, who volunteered to set up along with her husband, David, said the organizers downplay their role.

"I don't think people know how much time they put into it," Cheryl Becker said, adding that the organizers started preparing several weeks in advance. "It takes a lot of effort."

Although Oleson and Reynolds may be the veteran parade organizers, they got help from Hopson and Noble, and Brian Winkler, who did prep work but couldn't attend the parades.

Noble said he became involved in the parade much the same way Oleson and Reynolds began more than a decade ago the encouragement of friends.

"They said, 'Let's go eat at Don's Steakhouse,'" Noble said. "The next thing you know, you're signed up."

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