Seniors show 'Independence' in Kenai parade float design

Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Kenai Senior Citizens Center volunteers have been busy the past few weeks building a float for the Kenai Fourth of July Parade.

At first glance in a neat corner of the Kenai city maintenance shop, the scene is more of a group gathered to have some fun, rather than folks involved in a work project.

Laughing and joking as they go, volunteers including Arlene Enfield, Jimmie English, Bill Nelson and Bill Osborn spent Monday putting the finishing touches on their float that captures the concept "Seniors With Alaska Spirit."

Others who have worked on the project under the guidance of senior center's Activity and Volunteer Coordinator LuAnn Barrett are Barbara Heath, Patsy Clifford and Anna Wheeler.

"This group is my winter float group, my summer float group -- they've been doing it for several years," Barrett said.

She said the group gets together right after the Kenai Chamber of Commerce decides on a parade theme, brainstorms some ideas and comes up with a design for their float.

"First, of course, we put the word out to make sure it is something we can do as a group," Barrett said.


Arlene Enfield and Bill Osborn get "Uncle Sam" ready for his place on the float.

Photo by Phil Hermanek

The city donates the trailer the group uses as the base of its float, and city workers cleanup a spot in the maintenance shop so the seniors have a place to release their creative energies.

This year's entry also will feature the Kenai Swinging Golden Girls, a line-dancing troupe that will follow behind the float and periodically perform dance routines during the parade.

"We will have between eight and 12 dancers -- all ladies -- walking and dancing behind the float," Barrett said.

Musical accompaniment will be in the form of a CD player being pulled alongside the group on a wagon. The Golden Girls are under the direction of their instructor, Lane Means.

Barrett said the senior center has been building and entering a float in the Kenai parade for more than five years. She also said other senior center volunteers will be on the greenstrip Thursday in the group's pie booth.

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