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4:50 AM Mon, Sept. 24th

Territorial parade celebrates 22nd year in Chino Valley

File/The Daily Courier <br>
The Franklin Phonetic School marching band plays in the 21st annual First Territorial Capital Days Parade in this photo from Sept. 1, 2007.

File/The Daily Courier <br> The Franklin Phonetic School marching band plays in the 21st annual First Territorial Capital Days Parade in this photo from Sept. 1, 2007.

CHINO VALLEY - The 22nd annual First Territorial Capital Days parade here will likely be one of the best attended in the event's history, with at least 60 entrants participating on Saturday morning.

This year's parade runs from 9 to 11 a.m. over the same route as previous years, with bleachers, shade on the east side and bottled water available all along the way.

The closed-off, 1-mile route begins next to Chino Valley Town Hall at 1020 W. Palomino Road and travels about three blocks down North Road 1 West to Del Rio Elementary School at the corner of N. Road 1 West and Road 2 North.

The parade committee, in collaboration with the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce and CV Parks and Recreation, chose this year's theme, entitled "When the West Was Fun," which incorporates a light-hearted feel into Old West attitudes.

"I'm really excited about this year's parade," said Penny Hubble, parade chairperson, adding that the event will have 25 antique tractors on hand. "It's grassroots. People who wouldn't normally be out like to come out and see a parade."

John Olsen of Olsen's Grain will serve as grand marshal, and Prescott's KPPV 106.7 FM will broadcast a live feed of the entire parade.

"This town needs some victories, it needs some wins, and that's what this parade is all about - lifting people's spirits," Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce Director Ab Jackson said. "This is something that makes you feel good about being part of the community."

For the first time this year, the parade will have a calliope - a high-pitched instrument that produces sound by sending steam through whistles. Calliopes were popular on riverboats and in circuses in the mid-1800s and early 1900s.

A contingent of Marines will serve as the color guard and at least three local bands will march and play along the route.

A small group of judges will determine the winners of the parade's commercial, marching, non-commercial, classic vehicles/machinery, mounted animals, judges' choice and not-judged categories.

Parade participants decorate a float, car, horse, buggy, wagon or themselves. They register the day of the parade from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., with staging lasting from 7:35 to 8:30 a.m.

Winners receive locally handmade prizes. Each prize consists of a circled cowboy lariat rope with the words "Chino Valley Territorial Days 2008" affixed to it in rustic iron, Western-style letters.

"We figured that rather than having plaques, we would give out something handmade to celebrate the town's uniqueness," Jackson said.

Before the parade, participants and spectators have the chance to eat a pancake breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m., sponsored by the town's Morning Lions Club, at the Chino Valley Senior Center across from Town Hall at 1021 W. Butterfield Road.

Jackson said the goal is to make the First Territorial Capital Days celebration a larger event in future years with additional activities - perhaps even a junior rodeo in the Old Home Manor area off Perkinsville Road.

At some point, the chamber might consider relocating the parade to Community Center Park at 1615 N. Road 1 East, where the Aquatic Center and ball fields sit, and get more school groups involved.

It also might incorporate an arts and crafts event a week prior to the parade.

"Our long-range plan is to make this a weeklong event," Hubble said.

For more information about First Territorial Capital Days, call Parks and Recreation at 636-9780 or the Chamber of Commerce at 636-2493.

Contact the reporter at dcook@prescottaz.com