Childrens' parade celebrates reading

Mar. 03, 2014 @ 02:12 PM

It was quite a sight on Mulberry Street around 11 a.m. Saturday.

Like a scene taken from the many classic children’s books by Dr. Seuss, about 100 people, including babies in strollers, lined up in the parking lot of Caldwell Memorial Hospital for the third annual “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” parade.

Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and the Lorax joined the large group who braved the nearly freezing temperatures to celebrate the birthday of famed children’s author Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, and to promote Read Across America, a literacy program by the National Education Association.

Melissa Gordon of Hickory brought her three children — Jacob, 9, Madalynn, 5, and Addisynn, 1 — to join in the celebration.

“They’re reading Dr. Seuss in school,” Gordon said. “They’re excited about the parade.

Joining Gordon was Wendy Hollar with her 12-year-old son, Jesse, a student at Blackburn Elementary School in Jacob’s Fork.

“It’s something fun to do for the kids,” Hollar said.

Sherri Yi, husband Yong Ki Yi and their 2-year-old son, Xander, decided at the last minute to participate.

“We heard about it but didn’t know it was a participation thing,” Sherri Yi said.

Even the cast of “Seussical the Musical” showed up in full costume. The play debuts at the Cast Theater in Granite Falls on March 7, and the parade was the perfect venue.

“It’s a good opportunity to get the word out about our production, and the kids are enjoying seeing the characters,” said Annamarie Clark.

It took the parade-goers about 10 minutes to walk the quarter-mile trek to the Family Resource Center on Harper Avenue. There, the group gathered for birthday cake and ice cream.

“We’ve been working on putting the decorations together and getting food donated for the past two weeks,” said FRC program coordinator Sherry Pendergrass. “We were very excited to host this. It has been a blessing to see this many people come out today.”

Stephenie Oxford organized the parade three years ago, and it has been a hit with area children and parents ever since.

“This is a great example of the community of folks from all backgrounds getting together to celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss,” Oxford said.