Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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A replica Wells Fargo & Company stagecoach carrying 2012 Junior First Citizen Jana Fogg and chamber director Chelsea Pope, among others, passes in front of the Polk County Courthouse Saturday morning during the annual Summerfest parade.
July 31, 2012
DALLAS -- If you want to win a "Best in Show" award in Dallas' Summerfest parade, you better start planning early.
Both winners in the adult and youth divisions -- West Valley Hospital (adult) and Evangelical Bible Church (youth) -- began working on their winning entries well in advance.
In Evangelical Bible Church's case, a year ago -- when the 2012 theme was announced.
"It was probably not long after that that they started thinking about it," said Bill Voth, a church member who helped build the float, which depicted the first EBC church, built in 1912 east of town on Ellendale.
Voth and another church member worked from an old photograph of the church to re-create it in miniature. He said it took about half a day to assemble the building.
Ty Brewen, who was part of a group of youths who accompanied the float through the parade passing out fliers, said he was proud of the "Best in Show" recognition.
"I think it's a really good way to spread God's word to make things and make them big so people can see that we want to invest our time in what we believe in," he said.
Similarly, West Valley Hospital's parade entry was a hospital-wide project.
"Really, all the employees in the hospital were involved in coming up with different ideas," said Bob Brannigan, West Valley's administrator. "They decided they wanted to come up with a western town theme."
WVH wild west townscape featured a church, a hardware store, telegraph office, barbershop, feed store and an "Old McDonalds," all surrounding a covered wagon.
Melissa Davies, the hospital business development project manager who help organize float planning, said each department at the hospital was assigned to create a portion. Those assignments were doled out well ahead of time to have them ready to place on the float in the days before the parade.
"We put it together in a couple days," she said. "We wanted to be efficient. We did a lot of planning so we could get it done quickly so we could enjoy the parade."
About 40 people -- some carrying stick horses -- accompanied the float on the parade route, representing each department in the hospital.
"Getting involved in the community is so important for us and these (events) are our favorite ... when we get to do the local parades," Davies said. "Everybody really pitched in, so we were excited to get an award for our effort."
"That makes you feel pretty good," he said. "It makes all worthwhile."
Of course that also means the pressure is on for 2013.
"After winning an award, we have to show up with something great again next year," Davies said.