ELKHART — The Elkhart Black Expo community parade came back larger for its second year Saturday, but the average participant was shorter.
The Elkhart Chapter of the Indiana Black Expo organized the parade down 6th Street, which had 37 units this time.
More youths participated in this year parade, organization officials said.
The chapter organized the first parade last year to mark its 45th anniversary.
Participants who joined the route from Lusher to Benham Avenue included churches and other organizations, dance teams, political candidates and current office holders, and a few unique vehicles. They threw candy, tossed flying discs and handed out sunglasses to the crowds who lined the street.
Chapter President Robert Taylor indicated the number was almost double the participation from last year. They included local groups and individuals as well as some from around northern Indiana and southern Michigan.
He said rounding up participants wasn’t that hard.
“We just asked people. Last year’s experience helped,” he said. “The most exciting thing is that there are more kids this year.”
Younger marchers included the Lil Beauties, a group of 9 to 13-year-olds which coach Cierra Oliver described as a hip-hop dance team with a majorette twist. They were followed by members of the St. James AME Bible Bowl team, ages 8 to 12, who recently won the finals in their division for the third year in a row.
Both groups were new this year.
“It’s our first time in the parade, but this is gonna have to be an annual thing,” remarked Tamika Mitchell, one of the quiz coaches.