State Fair Parade AAR
How Can You Tell When it’s Fair Time in Iowa?





Photo: Dana Peterson


Well…if half of your cities and towns across the state are under water, it might be Fair Time.
If the streets that aren’t under water, are under construction, that’s a good clue that it is Fair Time.
If the temperature outside is hot enough that you hair begins to smoke even BEFORE you don your wool “bummer”, then it’s a pretty good bet that it is probably State Fair time.
When all three of those scenarios merge, it is absolutely certain that it is time for the 2010 Iowa State Fair. And for us, that means Parades……with the heat indices surpassing 108 degrees.
Against all common sense, or reason, members of The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles of Company “A” 49th Regiment, Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry volunteered to take part in not just one, but two parade events this year in conjunction with the State Fair. But, showing at least a modicum of intelligence in the matter, we elected to “do” one of the parades on something other than burning shoe-leather and rode the three-mile-long course of the official State Fair Parade on the flatbed trailer that Corporal Denny Williams uses to haul his 12 pound Napoleon cannon to and from events when his latent artillerist tendencies get the better of him.
And mightily glad we were for the use of it, I must say.



Photo: Dana Peterson



Photo: David Lamb

RCS Krock, CS Thompson, Corporal Rittel, and myself were joined by the ever lovely countenances of Mrs. Rittel and Mrs. Williams, who rode in the back of Corporal Williams’ pick-up truck turned event float, while the Riflemen were joined by the newest member of the Regiment, Corporal Zachery Halter (Regimental Mascot). Corporal Halter is a precocious eight-year old who encountered CS’s Krock, Thompson and myself at a Downtown Farmer’s Market event in the Summer of 2009 and made his mother (Karen Halter) promise that if she ever saw us at Farmer’s Market again, that she would come home and get him and bring him down to meet us. That came to pass a couple of weeks ago when we did a “Meet and Greet” at Iowa’s largest outdoor Saturday market event.
In the intervening year, Zach had carefully arranged to have a “Civil War costume” made by a neighbor lady that consisted of a dark blue velveteen shirt with Union eagle buttons and some red chevrons (Heaven forbid, another budding cannon-cocker!). To Zach’s delight, Mom sprang for a Kepi at the Lamoni re-enactment last year, and a pair of winter snow boots become his “issue” footgear along with his favorite blue jeans. Thus attired, Zach “reported for duty” to me at the Farmer’s Market and spent about two hours with our detachment that day, delighting us with his considerable knowledge of the Civil war; and his myriad questions about just about everything related to the “recent unpleasantries”.



Photo: David Lamb

Over the course of the day, Zach made it plain that he would relish the opportunity to “join the regiment”, and said that he would, “be deeply honored” to be allowed to accompany us on the parade route for the State Fair Parade. After checking with Mom (something I have had to do with other Corporals over the years), we extended the invitation for him to ride along, and he jumped on that faster than a Border Patrol Cap can clean out a Wal-Mart checkout line!
Today was Zach’s day in the sun…both literally and figuratively.



Photo: Dana Peterson

We have begun the process of equipping him a bit better to do an Infantry impression by having a Field Forage Cap of appropriate design made for him (though one he will have to grow into a bit…but he will); and, I converted an old British style cartridge box for the Snider-Enfield into a reasonable facsimile of a pint-sized cartridge box for him. The addition of an I.D. disc identifying him as a member of this Regiment nearly completed the transformation.
Although, the erstwhile Corporal still expresses a desire to ,”learn to be a ‘Powder Monkey’ (we may have to give him over to CS Thompson at some point, because he seems to have the same strange desire) maybe it will pass once he finds out about having to clean one of those big, heavy, smelly, things.
At any rate, there it is. State Fair Parade 2010 has come about; been executed smartly by the Regiment, and passed into the history books. Next week, it is on to our second Iowa State Fair related event; Veterans Day at the Fair on Monday, August 16th.

Postscript:
Following the Parade, the Regiment learned that their "float" had actually won an award for being "Best Non-Commercial Entry" in the parade. We are all eagerly anticipating the all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world that surely must accompany such an accolade. We'll send in a postcard to let you know how that turned out for us.

1/Sgt. David M. lamb
Commanding
Company “A” 49th Regiment
Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry
The Governor’s Own Iowa Rifles

Posted by CS Stahr on Thursday 12 August 2010 - 07:50:03 | LAN_THEME_20

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