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Potato Bowl parade draws a crowd ahead of football game

There was plenty of UND pride and green attire to go with it during the KEM Shrine Potato Bowl Parade Saturday morning in Grand Forks. The parade, which began on the North Dakota side of the Red River before ending in East Grand Forks, included p...

Thousands of people line DeMers Ave.
Thousands of people line DeMers Ave. to watch the Potato Bowl parade Saturday in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks . Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

There was plenty of UND pride and green attire to go with it during the KEM Shrine Potato Bowl Parade Saturday morning in Grand Forks.

The parade, which began on the North Dakota side of the Red River before ending in East Grand Forks, included preludes to the Potato Bowl football game later in the night. The True North Equipment float indicated that they were "Hunting for Jackrabbits" in reference to UND's opponent later in the night, South Dakota State University. Another encouraged the hometown squad to "sack the Jacks."

For many, the parade was a tradition much like other events leading up to the annual Potato Bowl game. All the staples of a parade made an appearance Saturday, including law enforcement vehicles blaring sirens, floats honoring veterans and Shriners riding cars not fit for traditional street travel.

"We like to see all the different events and floats," said Conrad Smith, as three of his kids competed for candy on the sidewalk. "They're doing pretty good."

Sarah Patrick might have been in the parade if it weren't for another, completely unrelated event taking place in Fargo.

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"Last year, I had my band march in the parade," said Patrick, the music instructor at Midway Public School in Inkster, N.D. "And this year we had too many that were going to Taylor Swift."

"I'm looking forward to doing it next year."

One band that did participate was the group from Grand Forks Central High School. Christie Aleshire, one of the band directors, said she was happy with the performance.

"It was awesome to see the crowd just enjoy as you march by," she said. "It's a great opportunity to just get out and play."

The winners are ...

• St. Michael's School and the bands from Central High School and East Grand Forks High School were chosen in a tie for the most enthusiastic entries in the Potato Bowl Parade.

• The best Potato Bowl theme went to the UND Staff Senate. And the best UND spirit was shown by the UND Pride of the North Marching band.

Call Hageman at (701) 780-1244; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1244; or send email to jhageman@gfherald.com . Follow him on Twitter @jhageman

Related Topics: EVENTS
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