VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Vincennes community lined the streets Saturday to enjoy the fun at the parade portion of the 16th annual Red Skelton Festival.
Little cars, clowns popping wheelies and candy flying through the air were just some of the many sights you may have noticed at the Red Skelton parade this year. Those who participated in the celebration said their goal is to brighten the community’s day one person at a time.
“We really just enjoy putting smiles on faces,” Charlie Jackson of the Al Menah Shriners said. “The business we’re in is helping children and helping them smile.”
“I have a motto: we turn frowns upside down,” Harold Day of the Al Menah Shriners said.
Last year’s parade was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers said they were excited to bring such an event back to the community.
“Last year of course we were not able to do the festival at all,” Anne Pratt, director of the Red Skelton Museum, said. “No parade, no kids games, no carnival. You know it’s just wonderful to be back and to see everybody back here again. many of these clown and Shriners come every year.”
Shriners play a major role in the parade, from dressing up as clowns to throwing out candy. Some shriners even travel from across the country just to help out.
“We came up from Nashville, TN. We’re Al Menah Shriners,” Jackson said. “We come up every year to the Reed Skelton Festival. We enjoy the hospitality of the people here in the town. It’s a once a year trip for us and we really enjoy it.”
Pratt said while the planning process can be stressful, sharing art with the public makes it worthwhile.
“This is probably the most colorful parade,” Pratt said. “Clowns, Shriners. We have a great route and it’s so much fun. Little bit like herding cats but we have a great time every year.”