PLATTSMOUTH – Hundreds of people filled downtown Plattsmouth Saturday night to watch one of the biggest events of the Plattsmouth Harvest Festival.
The annual PHF Grand Parade lasted more than an hour and featured scores of entries from across eastern Nebraska. Festival organizers changed the route to head from east to west down Main Street for the 6 p.m. event this year.
Entries began lining up at the intersection of 1st Avenue and South 6th Street during the afternoon. They turned left on South 3rd St. and turned left again to head down Main Street. The public address announcing system was placed near the eastern side of the parade route this year.
Brian Wagner was named Grand Marshal of the parade. Wagner was born and raised in Plattsmouth and has worked for the city of Plattsmouth for the past 20 years. He has been actively involved on the Plattsmouth EMS Department for 13 years.
Wagner has helped Plattsmouth residents recover from several major events. He spent weeks working on a team that made more than 25,000 sandbags in the Floods of 2011. He served the city in 2017 on search-and-rescue teams after a straight-line windstorm caused widespread damage.
Wagner played key roles in rescue and recovery efforts in the Floods of 2019. He helped fire department members evacuate residents by the Missouri River when the waters rose rapidly in March. He spent hours placing sandbags by the Plattsmouth water and sewer plants and on the east end of Main Street. He also helped rural water department officials sandbag their wells to ensure Plattsmouth would be able to use them.
“Brian has spent countless hours and many sleepless nights trying to make sure water is supplied to the town,” PHF representative Terry Little said.
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Wagner was knighted as a Lord of the Realm at last year’s Plattsmouth Harvest Festival. Little said Wagner almost missed the ceremony because he was responding to a rescue call at the time.
“Every day he puts others before himself and we are sure that will never change,” Little said.
St. John the Baptist School won trophies in the Best Use of Corn and Grand Overall Float categories. The float included a barn, silo, haystacks, small airplane and multiple ears of corn. Several students sat on the float and tossed candy to the crowd.
Plattsmouth Masonic Family won the Best of Theme prize. The float featured a cutout of the front of a barn with large cornstalks next to it. Residents portraying a farm family sat on a bench in front of the barn door.
Members of the crowd watched Plattsmouth High School marching band students wear their new uniforms for the first time. The blue-and-black uniforms arrived in Plattsmouth earlier this month.
Weather played a factor for Saturday’s events. A brief rainstorm passed through the area in the mid-afternoon, but the skies were dry for the first 60 minutes of the parade. Rain began falling again for approximately the final ten minutes. Some spectators sought shelter under awnings of businesses, while others remained standing in their spots until the end.
Plattsmouth Harvest Festival royalty watched the parade from the Grand Stage. Queen Grace Roby, King Don Rhoden and princesses Haley Miller, Gabby Ramirez and Mackenzie Miller viewed the parade from chairs. Fellow PHF princess Riley Fitzpatrick rode in the parade as Miss Cass County.