The first time I experienced parade swag was at the Great American Cheese Festive in Little Chute, Wisconsin. Child was about seven. There was a Great American Cheese Parade at the kick-off to the festival and as Child and I settled in, the family next to us said “don’t you have a bag?” and gave Child an extra plastic bag that they had brought along. I wasn’t quite sure why but it didn’t take long to figure it out. Most of the participants in the parade were tossing candy to the kids along the route; Child made a candy killing.
The practice of handing out candy has morphed into handing out parade swag of all types. At the Richfield Fourth of July Parade this year, there were all kinds of fun stuff. There were lots of folks doing candy: Dum Dum suckers, Jolly Ranchers are staples, but a couple of groups upped the ante with Butterfinger minis and Skittles. YA even scored some Sweet Tarts.
The first swag of the day was actually a small flag that we could wave throughout the parade. Then there were coupons for the Renaissance Festival, dog treats from Chuck and Don’s and a smoothie place. There were icee pops from Cub, icy cold water from a youth group, a ballpoint pen from one church and a nicer pen from a high school band. There were two different groups giving out can cozies and we also ended up with a little red rubber football and a mini-frisbee. A Lions Club volunteer even handed YA and I each a paper bag with White Castle Sliders. We’re’ not sure why she singled us out, but since we’re vegetarians, we offered them to the family sitting next to us.
The best swag of the day were the sunglasses from Davannis. When we were parking the car before the parade, it was pretty cloudy so both of us left our sunglasses in the car. This was an unfortunate choice since right about the time the parade got started, the sun came out. The Davannis sunglasses were just the right swag for both of us. And of course we learned our lesson after the Great American Cheese Festival Parade – we had a bag!
Have you ever gotten any good swag?