A big “whoa” for a little boy on a dreamy Sunday afternoon was just the kind of experience the Main Street Parkville Association planned for this year’s annual Parkville Days celebration.
Vincent Carnavale is just 2 years old. Mom Angie Carnavale, from San Antonio but stationed at Fort Leavenworth, steadied the little guy on his first ever pony ride.
“I’m surprised he liked it,” Carnavale said.
The family came from Leavenworth to experience Parkville Days on Aug. 20. Event officials do not take an official count at the free event, but like the Carnavales, thousands come throughout the weekend to enjoy a parade, vendors at English Landing Park, community performances and a midway.
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The ponies, provided by Chasing Dreams Pony Parties, were a return feature to the annual event. They provided enough of a thrill for a 2-year old. Bigger kids could get their kicks from another return to the event, helicopter tours.
Kelly Putnam, executive director for the Main Street Parkville Association, which sponsors the event, says the helicopter rides got steady businesses throughout the weekend, which might not be a surprise, considering everyone was ready for a focus on the skies.
This year’s event was held the weekend before the Aug. 21 total eclipse of the sun. The theme for the parade and event was “Total Eclipse of the Park.” The park is the English Landing Park, which is the site of the annual event.
The grand marshal of the parade was retired NASA science education specialist Dr. Lynn Bondurant, who also was an alumnus of Park University. Bondurant also presented a lecture on the eclipse during the weekend.
Putnam says the annual event has small changes every year, but is always an important part of the community.
“It’s just awesome that we do this as a town, with the parade, the festival the carnival everything tied together with the helicopters. It’s so unusual,” Putnam said.
While Parkville Days is the biggest yearly draw for the Historic Downtown Parkville area, the Main Street group has several smaller events coming up this fall.
The group will sponsor a Cruise Night for people with historic vehicles to show off their rides on the first Saturday in September.
The last Friday in September will be a Final Fridays event on Main Street, which will feature emergency preparedness vehicles for the kids to enjoy.
On the last Saturday of October, the group plans a Halloween themed event.
The Parkville Farmers Market also is open every Saturday morning through the end of October and on Wednesday afternoons until Sept. 13.