HAA grand marshals like to heat things upFor more than a dozen years members of the Hudson Vintage Neighborhood Alliance have participated in the Hudson Hot Air Affair Torchlight Parade, coming up with an interesting and always fun take on the event’s theme.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
For more than a dozen years members of the Hudson Vintage Neighborhood Alliance have participated in the Hudson Hot Air Affair Torchlight Parade, coming up with an interesting and always fun take on the event’s theme.
This year, “The Year of the Dragon,” will be no different except that the HVNA contingent will be leading the parade as this year’s grand marshals. They like to keep the details secret until the night of the parade but they believe they have another winner this year. It never matters much to them if they are recognized by the HAA parade judges — they have a trophy of their own that they award themselves every year.
Among the members who regularly march in the parade are Jean and Wayne Haut, Mary Ellen and Rich Cox, Rebecca Bonesteel, Matt and Robyn Romberg, Geri and Brett Tresselt, Cheri and Rusty Rosenberger and Jeff and Chris Meyer-Quarberg. The parade unit also sponsors a balloon in the event out of their own pockets. Even their usually mild-mannered pilot, Rich Jaworski of Blair, Neb., is rumored to have caught the group’s campy bug.
Highlights of their past parade appearances include dressing as $20 bills shouting through megaphones the year the theme was the “Roaring 20s,” as flying porkers last year for “When Pigskins Fly,” and dancing prom queens the year it was all about “Sweet 16.” They even found a way to make a funeral funny for the New Orleans theme.
Wayne Haut says the group looks forward to the event every year and said it is a chance to celebrate the community at a time when there isn’t a lot else going on. “And where else can you get fireworks in February?”
Rich Cox says it is also a fun way to get people familiar with the Hudson Vintage Neighborhood Alliance. While not everyone in the group which includes about 25 households, participates in the parade, “it is still a chance to get the word out about HVNA,” said Cox.
The alliance began about 15 years ago. Initially members helped one another with information about contractors and remodelers who could help with restorations and renovations. But there is more to it than that. Their mission “is to encourage strong neighborhoods as well as the preservation and enhancement of the character and integrity of the historical neighborhoods in Hudson.”
They are currently at work on the restoration of the Humbird Chapel at the Willow River Cemetery built in 1920. Haut said the restoration of most of the stained glass has been completed but more work on the structure has to be done.
But this weekend isn’t about the serious work of the alliance and who knows what the Year of the Dragon will inspire these folks to do?
For more information about the Hudson Vintage Neighborhood Alliance and the chapel project go to their website at www.hvna.net or contact Wayne Haut at (715) 377-0645.