COLUMBIA — As a crowd gathered along Broadway and waited for the oncoming floats of the Boone County Fair Parade, the scene was filled with young families — complete with hand-holding, strollers and digital cameras.
"I'm excited to see the horses," 6-year-old Bradly Smith said as he sat beside his sister, Kaylee, 3. Wide-eyed, he said his family owns two horses of their own, Cooper and Pepper.
His grandmother, Marlice Pound, said that it was their first time at the Boone County Fair Parade and felt it was a special experience to share with her grandchildren.
The Boone County Fair Parade kicked off at 10 a.m., progressed down Broadway in downtown Columbia turned on Fourth Street and eventually wrapped around on Walnut Street, said Danny Wahlig, a worker for the fair. The theme of this year's parade was "Making Memories with Family and Friends," which one parent said was the best part.
"We come for the kids," said Jason Warzinik, who came with his 4-year-old daughter, Zoe, as well as his newborn, who slept in a navy-blue stroller.
Zoe was fascinated by the horses.
"Their feet sound awesome," she said with a big grin across her face.
The parade featured 30 to 40 vehicles, including antique and classic cars and 4-H Club floats, Wahlig said. The grand marshal of the parade and the Boone County Fair queen and her court also made an appearance.
Warzinik, who has attended the Boone County Fair for more than five years with his family, said the parade has been consistently entertaining.
His daughter had only one more thing to add to her dad's comment.
"I just love the candy," Zoe said.