Entries for the Daybreak Rotary’s Stampede Parade Saturday broke the 100 mark Thursday and more entries are always expected right up until the parade day.
Eric Zwiers, one of the co-parade marshals responsible for logistics, says people seem to be having a lot of fun with the Rock ‘n Roll theme this year and there are lots of Elvis entries going for the $250 prize for the best Elvis impersonator.
The best Rock n’ Roll theme entry wins $500.
The lakecity’s original and most famous international Elvis tribute artist Morris Bates — who enjoyed international performances as Elvis and a 10-year career as the world’s top Elvis tribute artist in Las Vegas, before retiring and becoming a youth and corrections counsellor — is looking forward to riding in the parade as the honorary parade marshal with his partner Eileen Lafferty.
Bates requested a 1956 Cadillac because a pink Cadillac was the first vehicle Elvis bought for his mother when he first made it big as a singer, but he is just as happy to be riding in Laker’s Car Club secretary Paul Christianson’s 1959 Cadillac.
“To have them do this is just great,” Bates says of his invitation to be the honorary parade marshal.
Zwiers says there are lots of equine entries, floats, and visiting entries from Houston, Armstrong and other locations.
Earlier co-parade marshal Nancy Gale said there were also entries from Vernon, Quesnel and 100 Mile House and lots of local musical entries, of vintage vehicles.
“We have a number of new entries so we are quite excited,” Gale says.
Laker’s Car Club president Wayne Potter is scheduled to escort Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett in his 1928 Model A Ford.
For the past eight years the Stampede Parade has been organized by the Daybreak Rotary Club. “No one is turned away,” Gale says. “We usually get 20 or so entries on parade day.”
On parade day Saturday, Zwiers advises spectators to come early and park in the Williams Lake Secondary School parking lot or access one of the parking lots south of Oliver Street via Mackenzie Avenue.
Parade entries also access the marshaling area via Mackenzie Avenue and check in at Comer Street and Second Avenue. Equine entries gather at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
Registration starts at 7 a.m. and judging starts at 8 a.m.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. following the tried and true route on Fourth Avenue starting at Proctor Street; left on Borland Street; right at Eighth Avenue onto Oliver Street; then proceeding the length of Oliver Street; then turning right on First Avenue to the disbursal point.
The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin will have a Cowboy Coffee concession with coffee, water, and soft drinks available in front of the museum during the Daybreak Rotary Stampede Parade Saturday. Money raised helps with the museum upkeep and operating expenses.
Wayne Lucier will also be back at the museum on parade day singing and playing in front of the museum while people wait for the parade to start.
Gale says the parade costs about $10,000 to put on, $5,000 of which comes in the form of a grant from the city and $5,000 of which the Daybreak Rotary recoups through entry fees and sponsorships. She says the club started providing prizes for the top entries a couple of years ago.
There are seven entry categories, equine, floats, bands, youth, automotive, mascots, and best theme, with several sub categories within each category, for instance best conventional, marching and community bands.
More information is also available at www.stampedeparade.com.