A herd of Chick-fil-A cows parachuted into downtown Knoxville Friday night. They were actually small dolls, thrown from the roofs of buildings on both sides of Gay Street. Meanwhile a contingent of people in cow costumes marched in the Dogwood Arts Festival parade while restaurant employees handed out free sandwiches to spectators. Mine was hot and delicious.
A woman standing on the sidewalk next to me remarked that I seemed to know a lot of people in the parade. During our conversation I learned that she had recently moved here from Austin, Texas, to take a job at TVA. I asked her if there was anywhere in Austin where someone could take a picture of Shoney Bear, Jesus and Mr. Potato Head at the same time. As we watched, I recognized Amelia Rapking as the girl driving Heather Haley. Well-liked former radio guy Bill Johnson was driving Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.
The parade stopped a few times for performances in front of the grandstand. In fact, Congressman Duncan had to wait for a troupe of female zombies to rise up off the street and dance to “Thriller.” Local singer Con Hunley was another of the featured artists. I wish there was a better way to keep things entertaining for those not standing near the grandstand.
For the second year in a row, the Powell High School Marching Band stole the show with their costumes and their song choice. Dressed in 1980s attire and wigs, they played Gob Bluth’s themesong, “The Final Countdown.” I thought it was funnier than the parade entry that invited viewers to follow them on Tweeter.