FARNHAMVILLE - The sign that Dave Jensen, of Farnhamville, carried in the annual Old Settlers Day parade Saturday morning made little sense by itself. It read simply: "Down the street."
But when it was combined with the next sign being carried by another marcher several horse-drawn floats further along, it began to gel into something coherent.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Dave Jensen, of Farnhamville, carries the first of several signs that pay homage to the old Burma Shave signs that used to be posted along the highways as he walks in the Old Settlers Day parade in Farnhamville. Another volunteer, whose sign reads “Wonderful Parade,” follows him several floats behind. The signs eventually relayed a full message.
As more floats drove, walked or were pulled by, more signs added to what became a sentence.
And then, "Isn't it?"
For Ethan Wiederin, 17, it was indeed. He enjoyed the parade from a rocking chair in the shade in front of his family home. A flying disc tossed from the parade made a great plate for him to stack the candy that he picked up from the lawn.
"It's a plus," he said of the location, shade and disc.
Sharing the bounty of the parade may not have been in his immediate future; his nearby family members were on their own.
"If they go get it," he said.
Landon Vote, 3, of Farnhamville, may have been one of - or the - youngest drivers to steer their way along the route. His brother, Griffin, 1, rode along and enjoyed a frozen treat.
He did not seem a bit concerned about his brothers driving skills.
Of course, when the 3-year-old did veer off towards the curb, his mother, Amy Vote, was ready to grab the wheel and get the battery-powered car back toward center.
"I love how everyone smiles," she said. "I like seeing my kids have fun."
Mason Newell, 2, of Callender, watched the parade with his father, Aaron.
While he liked watching the tractors and the cars, the fire trucks were quite a bit lower on his list, particularly when they blew their horns.
"He doesn't like the noise," Aaron Newell said.
They were planning on attending the car show, having some lunch and attending to a very important task later.
"It's nap time at one," the father said.
He might even join his son, he said.
"Yeah, I probably will. It's Saturday."
By the end of the parade, four more Burma Shave-type signs had made their way past.
"Thank you folks."
"There's more to do."
"At the park."
"For me and you."
In fact, a whole list of things to do was posted on the park shelter wall, including a lunch that offered the diner a juicy steak or burger cooked up by Pat Fay, of Glidden, and his fellow members of the Calhoun County Cattlemen's Association.
Fay prefers the steaks.
"They're easier to cook," he said. "Everybody likes them."
Jan and Gus Graydon, of Callender, were among those who opted for lunch.
She chose the burger; he chose a steak.
"She's a cheap date," he joked.
They enjoy the food, the entertainment and the parade, the said.
But they especially enjoy the people who gather.
"The folks around here are the best in the country," Gus Graydon said.
Mandy Skoglund, of Farnhamville, was helping her father, Henry, set up a painted board with two holes in it for people to stick their heads through for pictures.
It's the second year for the art work.
"It was a hit," she said. "The older crowd thinks it's funny."
She, too, is a fan of the annual celebration.
"I like seeing everybody from all around come here to enjoy a nice day."