SILVER SPRINGS - At the annual Founders Day celebration in this small desert community there was more candy thrown out from John Deere tractors and pickup trucks than there were children to pick it up.
Skyler Ness, 11, sipped her Coca-Cola and cradled a bundle of candies rolled up in her yellow shirt. Even though she made out like a bandit from the candy coffers of the church groups, the four-legged parade entries were still her favorites.
"The horses were my favorite because they were pretty," she said Saturday morning after the last car and trailer went by.
About 100 locals watched the 25-minute parade cruise down Fort Churchill Street. Icons of country living mixed with the rural religious at Silver Springs' Founders Day parade. Participants included Pony Express riders, ministering motorcyclists and youth group teens with the Soul'd Out Ministries on BMX bikes.
"My husband is in the joy-mobile," said Kellie Goodman, who stood near the start of the parade taking digital photos of all the participants. "We got Jesus stickers on it and we're just playing funky music."
After about 15 minutes of stop-and-go parade traffic, steam puffed out from under the hood of a bright yellow 1940 International pickup. It pulled 10 passengers in a trailer advertising Faith Baptist Church. Every time Fred Simon, of Silver Springs, gunned the engine antifreeze dripped out the bottom. It stalled before reaching the judging booth. Simon's passengers cheered when the engine finally turned.
This was the first year that Silver Springs' Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts' units 775 and 114 led the parade, said Scout Master Gary Vetsch.
Brady Herbert, 12, was chosen to carry the American flag because he's the youngest scout in his troop.
"I am proud to carry the flag because of what it means to me - freedom," the tenderfoot said.
Denagh McBean, parade organizer and queen, waved to the onlookers from the back of a Suzuki 4-by-4 driven by her husband, Brian McBean. She wore a blue tulle-lined full-length dress crested with beaded flowers that she bought for $10 at a thrift store. Her sequined crown came from Disney Land and her shear tulle shrug was the train of the dress before alterations.
"The theme this year was creating a community that cares," she said. "We had to have entries that were committed to that. We had the tractors because everyone likes to see the tractors."
In this parade, the queen is chosen by her devotion to community service. McBean is a 4-H leader, member of the Parent-Teacher Association and the Silver Springs Task Force. This is the 35-year-old mother's first time as queen.
Although the parade honors the founding of Silver Springs, not many locals questioned know what year that was.
"More than 50 years ago?" McBean asked some friends. "I think it was about 52 years ago."
Many of the 16 entries, which she said is down by about 60 from last year, represent the area's agricultural roots.
Kristin Wright, the Silver Springs 4-H cat leader, carried a Flemish giant rabbit named Steel while her cockapoo named Rugrat ran around her ankles. Her daughter, K.C. Miller, carried a large white cat named Teddy Bear.
"After this I'm going to go to my booth and then look around at the other booths," she said.
More than 30 vendors set up at Penny Park for the celebration, which attracted hundreds of locals to bask in the shade and watch their kids splash down the water slide.
The Northern Nevada Antique Power Club, which drove nine tractors in the parade, won best of show.
"For a little town this is a good parade," said Andrea Sanchez, of Fernley, who came to Silver Springs this weekend with her two kids to visit her parents.
- Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.