Kinderland St. Patrick's parade rips through town

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Cassie Mitchell, 3, smiles during the annual Kinderland Nursery School's St. Patrick's Day parade Thursday morning. She was in costume with her brother Jared Mitchell, 5.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Cassie Mitchell, 3, smiles during the annual Kinderland Nursery School's St. Patrick's Day parade Thursday morning. She was in costume with her brother Jared Mitchell, 5.

Waves of pedal-happy tike bikers in green wigs and leprechaun hats blasted through Carson City's west side Thursday during Kinderland Nursery School's annual St. Patrick's Day parade.

Some revelers relaxed comfortably in the back of parent-powered red-wagon "floats" decorated for the holiday, but for the two- and three-wheelers at the front of the pack, speed was the name of the game, and making their own engine noises simply the mark of owning a fast machine.

Part Sturgis, part Tour de France, the paraders did two laps around the block, stopping at each intersection to re-assemble and carefully cross.

"It's not really supposed to be a race," explained director Malah McFadden, moving briskly at the side of the course with a walking stick at her side, watching carefully over the kids like a shepherdess. "But the older ones, they just love to see how fast they can go."

Jerry Thomas watched his 5-year-old son, Jerry, and 3-year-old daughter, Macie, cruise down North Curry Street. This year, the parade route was extended for an extra block.

"They must really want them to sleep during nap time," he joked.

Kylie Schlapkohl's grandmother and great-grandmother came out to watch the festivities.

"I had two sons go through the school 20 years ago," said grandmother Diane Schlapkohl. "They just do such a great job at that school."

Back at Kinderland, McFadden, or Ms. Malah as she's known to the kids, declared the parade a success while parents, palming video cameras for much of the event, stopped to catch their breath.

n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at pthompson@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.

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