Large crowds come out to enjoy 50th annual Grand Dansk Parade

Posted by Curtis Wildfong • Last Updated 10:17 am on Monday, August 18 2014

Danish Festival Grand Marshals Roger and Linda Cole laugh while waving to the crowd of spectators in the annual Grand Dansk Parade on Saturday on Cass Street in downtown Greenville. — Daily News/Cory Smith


GREENVILLE — With the sun high overhead and the smell of fine Danish cuisine in the air, thousands lined Cass Street in downtown Greenville on Saturday morning as the 50th Danish Festival’s main attraction made its way past awe-inspired children and their families.

With more than 100 entries, the Grand Dansk Parade was more than an hour-long event featuring floats, bands, cars and even a few superheros.

But for many of the children along the streets, the best part of the Grand Dansk Parade was the best part of any parade … the sweets.

“My favorite part was getting candy,” said 9-year-old Emmalee Battig of Greenville.

Emmalee had the corner of Cass and Hillcrest streets staked out with her two younger sisters, Elizabeth, 7, and Ellisyn, 5, and their mother, Kendra.

“We come here every year,” Kendra Battig said.

The Battigs were one of many families who roped off portions of the public right-of-way, plopped down lawn chairs and rolled out blankets to soak in the sun as well as the parade. Most of Cass Street was two or three rows deep of parade fans.

Chad and Misty Reisner, who came back to Chad’s hometown of Greenville all the way from Minnesota to take in the festival, found their spot along Cass Street near Hillcrest Street. Their children, Ciara, 9, and Caleb, 5, were most interested in the floats.

“The spooky float was my favorite,” Ciara said. “It was scary.”

For Caleb, his parade experience was highlighted by the chance to meet some of the superheroes who made their way along the parade route with Fresh Start Fitness.

“The Hulk is my favorite,” he said.

Leading the parade were this year’s grand marshals Roger and Linda Coles, who have had a hand in organizing, volunteering and managing at the Danish Festival for 30 years. They also judged the parade and its entrants.

As the events wound down Sunday, the curtains were drawn on the 50th Danish Festival. But without a doubt, event organizers are already thinking of ways to make not only next year’s better, but the next 50.

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