It truly felt like spring Saturday for the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands, with a cloudless sky and a soundtrack of marching bands, fire engine horns and children’s cheers as participants hurled candy toward the sidewalks.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the more than 50-year-old parade drew people in droves Saturday for the beloved festivities. Sidewalks were packed with onlookers, who spent the sunny morning waving and cheering on the procession as it wound down Hazel Dell Avenue and Highway 99.
This year’s parade theme: “We’re Back in the Saddle, Again.”
Jasmine Chhor brought her three kids out to see some of their classmates in the parade, like the View Ridge Middle School marching band. Chhor enjoyed watching the bands while the kids snatched up goodies from the street. Her 2-year-old son, Jaya, clung to the hand of his dad, Tek, as he stretched out for any sweets he could get hold of.
Marching bands played classics like “Sweet Caroline,” along with newer songs like Pitbull’s “Fireball.” Equestrian entries were dressed up for the occasion, and political campaigns looked to earn some votes ahead of the Aug. 2 primary election.
David and Jean Lang spent the morning of their 39th wedding anniversary at the parade, waving at those walking, riding or driving in the procession. They said they enjoy watching the kids dash into the street and fill their fists with goodies.
The Langs didn’t know anyone in the parade this year but said they enjoy watching the bands any chance they get. They’d been coming to the Hazel Dell parade for years before they moved to Hawaii. They continued to attend parades there before moving back to their home in Felida.
They, too, couldn’t think of a better way to soak up the pristine weather than watching the parade.
“I’m avoiding yard work,” Jean Lang joked.
Seven-year-old Soriyah Chhor said her favorite part of the parade was the candy, regardless of what kind.
One day, Jasmine Chhor said, she hopes to watch one of her kids in the parade.