TRR photos by Jonathan Charles Fox
Trout Parade founders and grand marshals Gerard Ilaria, foreground, and Steve Wilkinson described their festive attire as “The Village people meet Captain & Tennille” with fish.

Take a picture: it’ll last longer!

That’s right—I’ve been to another parade. And yes, I took hundreds of photos. For years, my friends in other parts of the country have marveled over the sheer number of festivals and parades held here in the Upper Delaware River region. While they often poke fun, I think they’re actually a little bit jealous, and who can blame them? 

 I helped The River Reporter’s Eileen Hennessy, left, Laurie Stuart and Barbara Winfield decorate our “float” in the ‘60s themed Livingston Manor Trout Parade before heading out to take pictures of the day.

“Well, now I’ve heard everything,” a gal-pal from California exclaimed when I told her about my plans to attend last Saturday’s 15th annual Livingston Manor Trout Parade. “And who on earth wants to see that many tractors?” she asked when informed about Sunday’s salute to farm life in Callicoon, NY. “You’d be surprised,” I replied. “Mock us if you must,” I said, “but you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen either one.” I was concerned about covering both, but when The River Reporter’s production manager and graphic designer Amanda Reed said that she would be at the Callicoon tractor parade, I knew that the photos would be swell, and that I was off the hook. Look for them on our Facebook page in the coming days. 
Having announced my plans on social media, I laughed at the comments and jabs from friends. “So…” ‘Big-John’ Davis from Kingston, PA wrote, “How do they train the trout to march? Inquiring minds want to know!” to which life-long Livingston Manor resident Gene Adolph replied, “It takes a village,” and he’s right. Even one of my dog’s canine friends, “Zuri the Havanese,” chimed in. “Ya’ll have a parade, where you live, every weekend,” she barked. “Seems like a fun place.” And it is. “No, we’re not bored,” I said to my friend in LA. “We like to celebrate life in the country, and what better way than a parade?” 

Tannis Kowalchuk and her Farm Arts Collective stilt walkers manage to march in all of our parades, and we’re glad that they do.

Of course, these town-wide events are also an opportunity to catch up with old friends and neighbors and support our local businesses, all of whom go all-out to be a part of the festivities in their respective towns. “Only in Upstate NY would you find a trout parade,” a cousin in Portland, OR commented online. I’m not sure whether she was making fun, or envious, but it makes no difference to me. 
I have nothing to complain about, save this: I stopped to take a picture of two young ladies marching with the floats festooned with fish, who were holding a sign that asked, “Do you feel like you’re swimming upstream?” When I requested a photo, they instantly began to proselytize about the Book of Morman and the Church of Latter Day Saints, while attempting to shove a pamphlet in my hand. I told them I was not interested, but they didn’t want to let it go. “Not appropriate!” I said to the pair, refusing to take the bait. Time and place ladies, time and place—in my humble opinion.
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