Much has changed over the course of 100 years in the City of Chester.
One of the things that has not is the Mother’s Day Parade.
Last Sunday, the city celebrated its 100th Mother’s Day Parade presented by John A. Watts Lodge Number 224.
Despite a soaking rain on Saturday and spotty showers on Sunday, the afternoon parade had sunny skies and dry weather for the onlookers and performers.
To commemorate the centennial year, over three dozen groups of performers filled the streets with beating drums, dance, and a familiar strut. Some of the groups included Mummers Parade participants, Aqua String Band, Uptown String Band and the Clevemore Fancy Brigade.
There was also a car show, music, marching bands and step and drill teams. Local premiere appearances included the Chester High School Marching Band, the Xinos and Kudos Youth Step Team and the Bennett High Steppers Drill Team.
City government, local businesses, churches and individual sponsors combined resources to support production of the parade.
“It is quite the tradition. The Elks take pride in it. They wanted to honor the mothers of the city and take care of the community and show them that we care,” said Gary Barksdale, co-chair of the parade for the Watts Lodge. “We worked to show the community we are very fortunate to try to support them and the leaders of the city.”
The honor of 2017 Mother of the Year went to Tanya King who was resplendent in pink with a fancy hat to match. She rode in the backseat of a car with the top down.
“It is an honor,” said King whose children are in their 40s. She has 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. “I raised my kids all by myself. I did a good job.”
The shiny chrome of motorcycles ready to participate gleamed off the Executive Riders’ bikes.
It takes a “cool mom” to ride a Harley Davidson.
“Thank you,” said Butter Smith, with a laugh as she sat on her bike with other Executive Riders waiting to start their engines. “It’s fun. You get to see different places and meet different people.”
Like the variety of entertainment at the parade, it was hard for Smith to choose the best part of parenthood.
“You can’t even pick one thing…it’s everything,” said Smith.