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Gridley Herald

Join Kids First Responders Parade

Apr 17, 2024 03:23PM ● By Seti Long, photo by Seti Long

These little first responders are ready for the Kids First Responders Parade Contest with their homemade Engine 74 made by Saxon Ross. Pictured left to right: Saxon Ross, Jacob Hale, Fallon Schaaf and Rebekah Poole. 

GRIDLEY, CA (MPG) - In honor of our first responders and holding to the theme of Red Suspenders Day 2024, the Gridley Area Chamber of Commerce has added a fun new event to this year’s Red Suspenders Day festivities – the first ever Kids First Responders Parade Contest.

In addition to the annual bed races, parade, fireman games and activities that stretch throughout the third Saturday in May, children in grades kindergarten to second are invited to use their imaginations to turn a cardboard box into the vehicle of their favorite first responder, be it an ambulance, firetruck, police cruiser or even a boat for water rescue. In addition, they are asked to dress up in the uniform that corresponds with their chosen vehicle for a shot at winning the First Responders Parade Contest.

There are no entry forms, so those wanting to participate simply need to don their costumes and grab their homemade first responder ride.

Contestants will meet at the Gridley Post Office parking lot the day of Red Suspenders Day, May 18, at 10:15 a.m. Their vehicles will be judges between 10:30 and 10:45, just before the parade. A winer will be chosen from each age group: Kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Winners will receive a prize of $25.

After judging, participants will have the opportunity to join the main Red Suspenders Day parade. This is not limited to those just in grades k-2. Children of any age can dress up as their favorite first responders, including nurses, doctors, and paramedics, not just firemen and police officers, and join the parade with their younger counterparts. An adult or guardian must walk the parade route with them.

Chamber ambassador and organizer Jessica Flatt says that she is excited for this new addition to the RSD schedule and hopes that they have a great turnout. In addition, she shared with the Herald she hopes the children who participate become excited about their own futures and may choose to become first responders.

Local kindergarteners Fallon Schaaf and Jacob Hale say that they are very excited for the contest. Hale shared with the Herald that he wants to be a police officer when he grows up and exclaimed, “I want to make a police car!” for the contest.  Schaff said he wants to perform sea rescues, or water rescues, when he grows up and hopes to make a rescue boat for the competition.

The Chamber is hoping for a strong turnout for this inaugural competition and encourages eligible children throughout the Biggs, Gridley and Live Oak communities to save their boxes, spread the word, and let the little ones have a blast while honoring our local heroes.