At 4 p.m. Thursday, a year’s planning comes to fruition as the 71st Crickette Club Parade and Carnival marches down Main and Broadway until they meet at Mosaic Party for a party, costume contest, raffle and more.
Monday at the club’s monthly meeting the final plans were confirmed.
“We’re up to 56 floats,” said Kat Chinault. “That’s down by 12 from last year but we don’t have any politicians this year.”
She said she’s going to keep taking entries through late Tuesday.
To help mark the event, the Bartow City commission Monday night issued a proclamation to several Crickette members declaring Thursday that club’s day. Along with several club members, Tess Newell, 3, dressed as a fairy princess in a purple gown, Lucas Newell, 5, dressed as a piece of pepperoni pizza, and Ella Michelle Huddleston, 5, dressed in a purple princess costume, gave the city commissioners and city attorney a bag of candy … the mayor getting two bags.
“I guess I’m the lucky one,” Mayor James F. Clements said.
At 4 p.m. the parade starts at the corner of First Avenue and Main Street in downtown Bartow. It goes west on Main street to Broadway Avenue and south into Mosaic Park.
No one can toss candy or throw any object from the floats and this will be enforced, Chinault said. Walkers 12 years of age or older may pass out items along the route.
There will be awards for best professional, best non-professional, most original, best-decorated car/truck, best school unit, best church unit, and best marching unit.
While much of the talk at Monday’s meeting was to finish plans for the show, organizer Karen Boswell reminded people of two important items. There is no school Friday, so she said, “Let’s keep those booths open late because school’s out the next day. We need a good year and no rain,” giving people a reminder of the storm that rolled through last year just before the start of the carnival.
The money raised from the yearly event raises money for local organizations and helps the Girl Scouts.
The other item Boswell told people was to protect yourself.
“Do bring bug spray. This weekend when I was at the Making Strides walk (in Mosaic Park) the mosquitoes were out in force in the morning and late in the day,” she said.
During the carnival there will be the yearly costume contest, a favorite of many who crowd the stage to see children from birth to 12-years-old compete. This year there are two new items: Store Bought and Homemade costumes.
That contest takes place at 6 p.m. at Mosaic Park Stage, north of the Bartow Civic Center. Bartow City Commissioner Leo Longworth will emcee the event. Signups take place at the carnival and forms will be available at the stage area from 5 until 5:50 p.m.
Contest times for Store Bought are: 6 p.m. Birth to 9 months, 6:20 p.m. for 10 to 18 months, 6:40 p.m. for 19 months to 2 years, 7 p.m. for 3 and 4 years, 7:20 p.m. for 5 and 6 years, 7:40 p.m. for 7 to 9 years, 8 p.m. for 10 to 12 years
Contest times for Homemade are: 6:10 p.m. for Birth to 9 months, 6:30 p.m. for 10 to 18 months, 6:50 p.m. for 19 months to 2 years, 7:10 p.m. for 3 and 4 years, 7:30 p.m. for 5 and 6 years, 7:50 p.m. for 7 to 9 years and 8:10 p.m. for 10 to 12 years.
Times are approximate and may vary. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place in each age division.