Parade Marches On…

The parade started assembling at 7 a.m. on the warm Monday morning of September 4, 2017. Parents were dropping off kids who would be marching in the 72nd Annual Labor Day Parade.

The drummers banged, the cymbals clanged, and the horns blazed away as the high school bands marched and the drill teams pranced. The clowns and band from the Hella Shrine took part, but this year there were no horses. The parade consisted mainly of drill teams and marching bands from GISD’s 7 high schools. The Boy Scouts lead the parade, followed by City of Garland Officials.

This Labor Day tradition began in Garland in 1945, at the end of WWII. The first Monday in September was declared a national holiday in 1895, during Grover Cleveland’s presidency. Its purpose was to celebrate those who labor by giving them a day off of work. Several manufacturing plants opened in Garland during the war, so it seems appropriate that Garland launched its parade to celebrate the prosperity brought to the city by those who labored.

The parade stepped off at 9 a.m. and wound its way through downtown Garland. By 10:30 the streets were cleared and the marchers were heading for home. There were 2 food trucks and a car show setup along State Street for those who lingered afterwards. We reviewed the photographs taken of the parade over the past ten years. We noticed that there was very little difference from one year to the next, as well as a complete absence of parade floats. We also noticed that the only local business that participated consistently in the parade was Babe’s Chicken Dinner restaurant.

Planning a parade requires a lot of organization and hard work. Thank you Garland Noon Exchange Club for keeping the Tradition Alive

We speculated on moving the parade date to Thanksgiving and starting it an hour or two later. That would eliminate the problem with uncomfortable temperatures and benefit the retail and restaurant businesses along the parade route. The schools would benefit by having more time to prepare and the marchers would not be suffering from heat exhaustion. Just a thought.



Nancy Ghirla