Vinton Dogwood Festival recognizes virtual parade participants

By Debbie Adams

The Vinton Dogwood Festival Committee has recognized the participants in the first Vinton Dogwood Festival Virtual “Shoebox Parade.” The parade took place online on April 25, the day scheduled for the 65th annual festival event.

Dogwood Festival Committee Entertainment Chairman Joey Nicely has been building the float for the Dogwood Queen and her Court for 20 years. He created a miniature version for this year’s virtual parade.

Children and families were invited via Facebook to create “Shoebox Floats” for the parade and post them online. The theme for the virtual parade was “Making Memories.”

Participants were asked to “pick a shoebox, think of a design, cover the outside of the box and lid with paper or paint, choose how to attach the lid to the side or end of the box to form a backdrop, and decorate.” Wheels were not required.

Those who designed and posted parade floats included: Michael Entsminger (“Vinton”), the Patterson family (“Making Memories Walking the Greenway with the Grandkids”), Sam Hylton (“Vacation Oasis”), Gracie Morgan (“Unicorn”), Olivia Phlegar (“Magical”), the Childress family (“Living for the Memories You Can’t Put Into Words”), Riley Cummings (“No Fishin’”), Jackson Doss (“Making Memories—One Toy at a Time”), Jack, Wyatt, and Carter Heap (“Heaps of Love Barnyard” float), Kaidence Stores (“Miss Dogwood Festival Pre-teen”), Coda Etue (“Monster Jam”), Katy Etue (“Friends at the Parade”), Brett Gardner (“Making Memories at Home”), Cody Gardner (“Take Me to the Beach”), Riley Spradlin (“Stay Safe Vinton”), Emileigh (“Duck Pond”), Ellie (“Frozen”), Carley Reynolds (“Fun at the Creek”), and Christi Clay Reynolds (“Fantastic Pontiac Car Club”). The Vinton Library Staff also entered a float in the virtual parade.

Christi Clay Reynolds created the Fantastic Pontiac Car Club entry for the Shoebox Parade.


Kaidence Stores designed a “Miss Dogwood Festival Pre-teen” float for the virtual Dogwood Festival Parade.
Vinton Branch Library float

All children who participated received a “Kid’s Square Activity Pack” as an appreciation gift from the Vinton Dogwood Festival.

Three names were chosen randomly for Dogwood Festival Prizes—gift certificates to New York Pizza—Cody Gardner, Coda Etue, and Ellie.

“We sincerely appreciate every child and family who participated in the first Vinton Dogwood Festival Virtual ‘Shoebox Parade,’” said Mary Beth Layman, Dogwood Festival Children’s Area and Media Coordinator. “We applaud your amazing creativity! A big thank you goes out to all of the children, parents and grandparents for making the special parade a great success!”

Dogwood Entertainment Chair Joey Nicely created a special miniature Dogwood Court float for the virtual parade. He has been creating and building the real Queen and Court float with volunteers for 20 years.

The parade also included photos of the 2020 Grand Marshals—the William Byrd 2019 State Championship Girls Softball Yeam, the William Byrd Marching Terrier Band, and photos of the Dogwood Queen candidates for 2020. The Queen will be crowned at the Vinton War Memorial during Vinton’s Fourth of July celebration.

To see all of the floats visit:





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