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Croaker Festival 2016 Parade
Volunteerism, Brexit, The Pig
July 4, 2016
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riental’s Croaker Festival is named for a fish, but it was a porcine character who drew the most cheers during the parade on Saturday. Mr. Pig, mascot of the Piggly Wiggly stores, walked the Broad-Hodges-South route along with the managers for the Oriental store that is slated to open in about 3 weeks.

With the Piggly Wiggly opening later this month and giving Oriental a full-service grocery once again, the Pig was met with applause on the parade route.

By some accounts, Oriental’s 2016 Croaker Festival Parade was one of the longest parades ever for the first-Saturday-in-July festival. It lasted nearly an hour, from the color guard setting out from Ragan Road on to Broad Street to the last of the 126 entries arriving at Lou Mac Park.

croakerfest Parade 2016
Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam won for Most Patriotic Couple. Their float also featured a coupling of older and more recent history..
Grand Marshals Fay Bond and Carol McAdoo, of the Oriental Woman’s Club, which is celebrating 100 years as a service organization this year. In honor of that, volunteerism was the theme of the 2016 festival.

The theme for this 36th Croakerfest – and its parade – was Embrace Your Volunteer Spirit, a tribute to the Oriental Woman’s Club reaching the century mark this year.

croakerfest Parade 2016
Another riff on the festival’s ‘Embrace Your Volunteer Spirit’ theme: a Jefferson Airplane song as entry in the parade.
croakerfest Parade 2016
Oriental Mayor Sally Belangia.
croakerfest Parade 2016
Bubbles from the bank float.
Kids were not the only ones who scored some candy thrown from the floats.

Many more photos ahead. (Click on an image to make it bigger, and to start slideshow.)

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Posted Monday July 4, 2016 by Ben Casey

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