Monday, July 5, 2010

Ennis Montana July 4th Parade: Bozeman Tea Party Wins Float Contest

The annual Bozeman, Montana TEA Party won first place in the Ennis, Montana Independence Day float contest. The parade did not offer a 2nd or 3rd place, just the coveted 1st, and it went a TEA Party. How's that for patriotism? The photo below is a man in bronze covering his heart at the Veteran's Memorial.

Ennis Veteran's Memorial with Bronze

Among the entries was Terri and Ron and their Rusty Cowboy entry of a Sheepherder's Wagon. Ron had lived in this wagon for over 20 years. If you have a wondering heart, it's up for sale.

The Bozeman TEA Party prevailed by winning the 1st place award for their float. They had a live singing group on the float, many flags. It shouted 4th of July. The judges were from out-of-town, knew no one in the parade, and the vote was not considered political. According to my tipster, it will take some time for one or two local entries to get over losing to outsiders (said with a chuckle).

Ennis Independence Day Parade  
Rusty Cowboy's Sheepherder Wagon

I have to say, that wagon is impressive

The  heroic Parade Grande Marshall, Johnny France, is famous nationwide for rescuing a young female athlete from two genuine mountain men crazies, Don and Dan Nichols.  Kari Swenson of Bozeman  was wounded by a shot to her chest during her rescue. She survived and later that same year,  won an Olympic Gold Medal in the Biathlon Championships in 1985.

The Nichols, father and son, escaped. One of France's deputies was shot and died. It took the Sheriff about 5 months to track them down. The father is serving an 85-year sentence. The son received 20-years but was paroled in 1991.

Johnny France wrote a book, Incident at Big Sky. My tipster is critical of two made-for-TV-movies about the kidnapping, saying it incorrectly portrayed France as a redneck. In the video, you'll see that the Ennis residents love Johnny France.

 It was a beautiful day for a parade, and this one had it all: bagpipes, gorgeous horses, vintage cars, pretty girls, kids on bikes and in strollers, kids walking with livestock, little kids on big horses, fife and drum, American flags everywhere, and America the Beautiful...on the Bozeman TEA Party float (about 6 minutes in).

At the beginning of the video, you see the Ennis Veteran's Memorial and a bronze statue done by my tipster. Can you guess who the tipster might be? If you are a regular reader, you've probably guessed by now. After watching the parade video below visit my storytelling tipster, who produced a prop for an A and E special on the Nichols abduction and capture, and also attended the premier showing.

The parade is all an Independence Day parade should be. If you have children, they will love watching this video.

Ennis, Montana Parade - Bozeman Tea Party Float Takes 1st Place (video)

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