Many children marched down Main Street in hopes of being named king or queen in a city tradition that dates back more than 70 years.
This year’s contest saw even more creativity than the last year, with costumes such as jellyfish, nearly the whole MickeyMouse Club House gang, clowns and and even an impressive display of Barnum’s Animals Crackers with a ring mistress.
The latter group was composed of 8-year-old Jocelyn McCoy, of Norwalk, and her dogs Bailey and Coby, dressed as a cheetah and lion, along with the help of a blow up elephant and stuffed tiger. All the animals were behind bars, of course, and the cage was put on a wagon for easy transport and appeared to be sectioned off, keeping the wild creatures from each other.
As a reward for the effort it took to create such an elaborate costume and display, McCoy was crowned parade queen.
“I’m really happy,” McCoy said. “My mom walks around the house to look for an idea (for the costume) and it was really good this year.”
McCoy’s mom, Faith, said the construction of the costume was a family affair and took about a week.
“I just go and walk around the house and look for something that would make a good costume,” she said. “I saw the animal cracker container on the counter — I use it to hold my kitchen utensils — and I thought that would make a great costume, so I started thinking of how to put it together. Her grandfather constructed it and I decorated and painted it and her grandmother helped with her costume and daddy transported. We all work as a team.”
“I helped my grandma,” Josselyn said proudly. “I watched her make my costume.”
Cooper Chamberlain, 3, of New London, was crowned king of the Pet ‘N’ Pup Parade after he and his 3-year-old dog, Emma, came as SpongeBob SquarePants and Gary the snail.
Chamberlain’s mother, Chastity, said designing and making her son’s costume took about a week, since it was created just for him and his dog.
“It was fun,” Cooper said. “I’m excited.”