Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

CNHI/SE Iowa

October 8, 2012

Oktoberfest parade allows groups to share their message

OTTUMWA — Some of the floats were huge. Others were fancy. And one float was just deafeningly loud. But a few Oktoberfest entries had a deeper meaning for the people who built them.

Messages came from such diverse parts of the community as substance abuse orginizations, animal rescue groups and churches marching Saturday.

“Any oportunity we have to promote fire safety, we’re going to take it,” said Ottumwa Fire Chief  Tony Miller.

This year, that included building a float — complete with a “house” on fire — for the Oktoberfest parade.

“Assistant Chief Mike Craff came to me and said they wanted to use the [Oktoberfest] parade to spread the message,” Miller said. “This is the first time in a long time the fire department had a float. Every chance we have, we’re going to [teach] fire prevention.”

Unfortunately, he said, that dedication gets a jump start every other week, on average, in Ottumwa.

“We had 30 working structure fires last year. That’s a really high number for a town this size. I’ve been doing this more than 30 years, and I’ll say of all the structure fires I’ve pulled up to in my career, at least half had no smoke detectors, or the owner had taken the battery out when it started chirping.”

The float helps residents know there are very few excuses for not having a working smoke detector. For most types of homes, firefighters in Ottumwa will come over and either give you a smoke detector, or even install a smoke detector at no charge.

The goal is that eventually, every home in town will have that basic life saving tool, he said.

Not every float is meant to teach the crowd a lesson. Another float’s participants wanted to honor the departed.

A group of Vietnam veterans designed a float with the names of the more than 800 Iowans killed during the conflict.

Some serve the purpose of bringing the marchers together, of showing support for each other and remembering they’re not alone.

A Wapello County support group for parents who have lost a child had their float this year, made up with clouds, angels and a gate.

“This year, we did a heaven theme,” said Bobbie Amburn, founder of the Footprints of a Child support group.

She started the group a year and a half ago after losing her baby, yet finding no support available locally. Now, heartbroken parents call her for support. And she’s found she can help. .

“But helping them, it helps me, too.”

Events like the parade are a good oportunity to get together and honor thier lost children. In fact, Amburn said, she’d only met some of the parents there Saturday on Facebook or on the telephone.

They ended their day by releasing balloons with their child’s name on it.

As they met in the Bridge View Center parking lot around Noon Saturday, the parents working the heaven float seemed tired but happy.

“We’re all still grieiving,” said Amburn, “and we’ll never forget. I know I never will. But it’s easier [when you can] talk to someone who’s been through it.”

1
Text Only
CNHI/SE Iowa
  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taking a look at Iowa's rural bridges and roads

    OSKALOOSA — National statistics indicate that Iowa roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair.According to the Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland report, 22 percent of Iowa’s rural bridges are deficient.Maha

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Techel found guilty on both counts

    DAVENPORT — Jurors have found Seth Techel guilty in the 2012 murder of his wife, Lisa, and the couple’s unborn child.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Features
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Obama Asks Central American Leaders for Help Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Obama Advisor Skips House Hearing Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results