Just when it seemed a morning drizzle might dampen spirits at Saturday’s Viola Valley Homecoming Parade, the rain subsided and parade cheer took center stage.
Sounds of the Pioneer Pride Marching Band filled the air, along with a few firetruck sirens, as a healthy crowd gathered along Highway 108 to watch the parade make its way to Viola Town Square.
The Pioneerettes donned raincoats in case showers returned and JROTC cadence caller Thomas Turpin led cadets on their march into town. Parade participants were, fittingly, throwing out candy like they were in a parade with children scurrying to fill their pockets.
“With the rain we had that morning, I was really surprised by the good turnout,” said Viola Mayor Trent Prater. “After the parade, everyone seemed ready to hang out and have a good time. I was pleased.”
Frank Bond won Best of Show with his 1929 Chevrolet. He drove the vintage car to the parade from Centertown, stopping on the way to fill up its 11-gallon tank.
Toby Donaldson won Most Unique for his red semi entry.
With no tractor and truck pull later in the evening, many of the events were moved up in the day. The T.C. Bryant Band performed and the mini tractor pull was held, but several other scheduled activities did not take place due to uncertainty surrounding the weather.
The tractor and truck pull has been rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4, which is over Labor Day weekend. “They won’t have long to wait for it,” said Prater.
After the tractor and truck pull, the next scheduled event in Viola is its annual Halloween celebration on Town Square. Prater says that remains on the schedule, but he doesn’t know the extent of activities due to COVID.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what COVID does,” said Prater.