Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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September 7, 2009

Slide show: Celebrating in the rain

CATLETTSBURG — A steady rain soaked paradegoers in Catlettsburg on Monday but it did little to dampen spirits.

Children and parents splashed through puddles in pursuit of candy being hurdled into the wet streets from umbrella- and rain-coat-laden floats.

Some, like Shalayna Hazlett, 8, of Ashland, and her brother, Josh, 7, counted the rain among the best parts of the parade.

“I think it’s really cool,” Shalayna said.

“I wasn’t prepared for it but I just like rain,” she added, with raindrops dripping from the end of her freckled nose.

“The baton people, the bands and the belly dancers” were Shalayna’s other favorite parts of the parade. Although candy wasn’t too far behind.

“Tootsie rolls or anything chocolate” were her preferred finds.

Their mother, Angie Hazlett, 28, of Ashland, was soggy herself but kept a grin on throughout the morning even as the Hillbilly caravan passed by squirting even more water on her.

“We’ve been doing this since I was a little kid,” she said, “So I want them to be able to experience it also. The rain is worth it. It doesn’t seem to bother them.”

“It’s great, it’s like tradition. Everyone loves doing things that they did when they were little with their kids,” she added, saying no amount of bad weather was likely to keep them away. “Maybe umbrella’s next year.”

Ashland Junior Football League Cheerleader Coach Kristen Stewart, 22, also kept a bright smile while she marched with the children.

“It’s pretty crappy but we’re keeping it all pepped up with all our spirit and everything,” she said.

“They are loving it, playing in the rain,” she said of the girls who followed behind her.

“I’m having a ball,” said Taran Smith, 5, blinking at rain drops that landed on her dark lashes.

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