The same weekend made new again
With excited cries, they rushed to the edge of Dayton City Park to watch it pass. They wove between lawn chairs and flags to get reach the sidewalk, eager to scoop up the hard candies being flung into the crowd.
At a safer distance, adults stood or sat under trees to shelter themselves from a hot Friday evening sun. They enjoying food dished up by vendors as they watched the parade roll by.
The moment the tail end of the parade wound past the park, children mobbed the playground. Adults settled for strolling about.
Tim and Margie Abbott set up in front of the stage in anticipation of the senior court crowning and "some terrific music."
They said they'd attended the doings every year since settling in in Dayton. And Margie said, "That's been a while."
Were they having a good time this weekend?
"You bet we are!" she said. "We just love this. We enjoy the whole thing."
They especially looked forward to the parade, car show and various musical and gastronomical offerings, they said. On Saturday, they said, they planned to be back to enjoy the firefighter's annual chicken barbecue, complete with potato salad, baked beans, bread, pickles and lemonade.
"Everything's the same, but it's new again too," Margie said. "It's just wonderful. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
Not to mention, she said, leaning forward conspiratorially, "Archie's burgers are the best!" She was referring to fare from Archie's Ice Cream Shoppe, which was also dishing up Umpqua ice cream.
The car show was a highlight for many. Crowds gathered to admire antique cars parked in neat rows.
Some were too entranced by the gleaming lines of the polished vehicles to even break away for the parade. A teal 1939 Plymouth P8 Deluxe convertible drew more than one wistful gaze. Several fairgoers circled around it admiring the expert restoration work.
Around 7 p.m., the Mavericks put down their instruments as Dayton mayor Beth Wytoski introduced Ray Clevenger and Pearl Lyon as the 2014 senior court.
Nominees have to be long-time residents of 70 or up who have done "something really right for Dayton." Seated side by side in front of the stage, wearing gold and burgundy sashes, Clevenger and Lyon were crowned to generous applause from the audience.
Lyon, oldest living member of the Kalapuya tribe at 102, smiled shyly as the rhinestone crown sparkled atop her head.
"Gee, I think it's nice that everyone thought for me," she said. "It's been wonderful, such a wonderful thing."
The main attraction over, most of the crowd dispersed to catch the last of the fading sunlight. But a few musically minded people folks settled back on wooden benches to hear the Mavericks strike up a slow rendition of "Take Me Home, County Roads."