Students dressed as storybook characters proudly strolled the streets of downtown Nevada City Friday morning for a celebration of the written word.
The 15th annual Be Excited About Reading parade opened with the fifth-grade Seven Hills school marching band and involved Deer Creek students and some Seven Hills students.
“The parade celebrates the love of reading and gets students to think about books they are covering in class,” said Deer Creek principal Joe Limov. “There were a lot more classes and enthusiasm this year. It was really enjoyable.”
Classes carried student-made banners. Some took a thematic approach where students dressed like characters from books they covered in class, and others dressed like characters from their favorite story books.
One class carried a “Jumanji” banner with students wearing safari helmets, another group of students wore animal paper bags to emulate “Where the Wild Things Are,” and one class dressed in tie-dye shirts and carried signs about their love and support of books and reading.
One fourth-grade class researched California state parks throughout the year and dressed like state park rangers.
The event promotes reading, which is supported even in the current age of technology, Limov said.
“Reading is actually supported by technology, whether through apps or iPads for kids to learn to be better readers,” he said. “They are very complementary of each other.”
The parade involved the City Council-approved shut-down of the main street in Nevada City, something that shows how unique and involved the community is, said Amber Reinhart, parent of a Deer Creek third-grader.
“I think it’s great. Not very many towns would do something like this,” Reinhart said. “My daughter is just excited to walk down the street with her class and see everybody.”
Such community input was appreciated by Nevada City School District Superintendent Roxanne Gilpatric.
“There were some awesome appearances from both schools, and I want to thank the City Council and the merchants along the street who are supporting reading,” Gilpatric said.
The parade lasted from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. before many businesses open, Limov said, though some shops opened early and benefited from the parade.
“One of the coffee houses opened early, so they got a lot of business, which was great because we want to work in partnership to help the city out,” Limov said.
Zephyr Kitchens, a second-grader dressed as a cowboy from the book “Pecos Bill,” said he enjoyed the participation in the parade.
“Kids and parents were excited,” said Kitchens’ teacher, Marcia Darden, who teaches a second- and third-grade combination class at Deer Creek. “It’s just Nevada City School District kids, so it’s a special kind of event.”
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.