Parade weather mild with some sprinkles

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

On Broadway, in one of the smallest capital cities in America, all appeared calm at 8 a.m. on Inauguration Day for Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Lt. Gov. Steve Pence.

A few drops of rain were felt, just after Barbara Atwood, on the parade formation crew, said, "We're praying it doesn't rain, and we're hoping the city of Frankfort provides a great turnout for the new governor and first lady."

She said it's challenging to organize the 140-some parade units, but it's fun and rewarding to finally get to stand back and see the parade happen the way it's supposed to happen. Everybody has been great to work with."

The first Republican inaugural parade in 36 years started on Broadway.

"Gov.Fletcher wanted all the parade units to pass by the Old Capitol," said Billy Noblitt, with the parade formation crew. "That's different from past inaugural parades and I think it's neat."

Noblitt said about 80 bands were participating in the parade.

Some military vehicles were lined up along Broadway early. Sgt. Vic Dry, from Louisville, dressed in a camouflage uniform, said it was his second inaugural parade.

"I was a part of the marching element in 1999," he said. "Today I'll be driving a communications truck in the parade with the 41st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team. Once we get to the Capitol, we will roll out and go back in our standby mode. We love to practice but we don't want to ever have to actually do it."

Dry said he loves getting to participate in the parade.

"I can't believe I get paid to do what I do," Dry said. "This is great."

When he said he was originally from Texas, someone asked him if he thought President George W. Bush may make a surprise appearance in Frankfort today.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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