Organizers expect as many as 200 children will turn out in North Conway Wednesday morning for the annual Village parade that celebrates the “Week of the Young Child.”
Jackie Sparks – the exec. director of Conway’s Children Unlimited, Inc. – says members of the community are invited to join together with teachers and child care providers from local pre-schools and child care centers in celebrating the event created by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Sparks and North Conway Day Care Center Director Jackie Howe started the annual parade in 1988, seeing it as an opportunity to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families.
Sparks hope adults will be inspired by the parade to think about how many children are being cared for and provided an early education, as well remember how much child abuse there is in the U.S.
This year’s parade theme is “Favorite Books” and kids will be dressed up as different story characters. Hussey’s hay wagon is expected to lead the parade as usual – with fire trucks bringing up the rear – as participants parade around Schouler Park.
Sparks says her organization also participates in the “Purple Crying” project where newborn babies at hospitals like North Conway’s Memorial Hospital are given a little purple cap and their caregivers are given information on how to cope with their crying to avoid shaking and injuring them.
She says she’s very proud of that initiative.
The parade is designed for kids from 18 months to 5 years of age and anyone can join in.
It starts at 10:30 a.m. near Schouler Park in North Conway.