A celebratory cacophony of bells, whistles and sirens filled the air and heralded the 65th annual Shrine parade in Rome on Saturday as a various array of vehicles paraded down Glenn Milner Boulevard and along Second Avenue before ending at Barron Stadium.
In the company of family and seven grandchildren, Charlotte Waddell came out to see the parade that she remembers first attending as an 8-year-old with her mother.
“It’s just the spirit of the town,” said Waddell. “The kids need to know that it needs to go into the future.”
Shriners weren’t the only stars of the show. In an appropriate nod to the organization’s work to raise money for children’s hospitals, local youth were out in full force and finery for the event. PeeWee cheerleaders and football players chanted and cheered atop vehicles.
Waddell’s 5-year-old granddaughter Casey Waddell grinned and waved excitedly to each vehicle as it passed. Her favorite part of the parade was a group of white motorcycles whose riders rode in curving formation to the applause of onlookers.
“They were going around in circles,” said Casey. “It was funny.”
The football game kicks off tonight with Coosa hosting Pepperell at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance and can be purchased at Coosa High School. Tickets are $7 at the gate.