Carrying the flag in a parade might seem easier than twirling and tossing a baton, but that is not necessarily so.
“When the wind blows, it’s hard to hold on,” said Darian Barano of the Marion County Rockettes as she waited with her fellow color guard members for the Mannington District Fair Grand Parade to begin Monday evening.
“It pulls you backward,” she added. “You have to have it still and hold it the way the wind blows.”
Also, Barano said, according to her grandfather, a veteran, color guard members who carry the flag in a parade should not smile and should maintain a serious demeanor.
“That’s what he says.”
Barano also has twirled batons with the Marion County Rockettes in past Mannington District Fair parades, so she can compare the two.
The Marion County Rockettes was one of 95 groups to march in the parade that heralds the opening of the Mannington District Fair, which will be held at Hough Park and the adjacent fairgrounds through Saturday.
People lined the streets, some at least an hour earlier than the parade’s 6 p.m. start time, in order to get a good view of the cars, trucks, floats and horses that marched and drove through downtown Mannington.
“She likes the horses and the fire trucks,” Amanda Bledsoe, of Mannington, said of her daughter, Addyson, 4.