Revelry and reverence: Farmer Consumer Awareness Day returns with 9/11 ceremony, moment of silence
Dancers with Ballet Sol y Luna, a traditional Mexican dance troupe, perform in Quincy during the Farmer Consumer Awareness Day parade on Saturday.
Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald
A mounted color guard honoring the U.S. military, especially the last 13 service members to die in Afghanistan, marches as part of the Farmer Consumer Awareness Day parade in Quincy on Saturday.
Staff Writer | September 13, 2021 1:07 AM
QUINCY — It was a beautiful day in Quincy on Saturday. A perfect day for a parade, and the 40th annual Farmer Consumer Awareness Day celebration.
It would have been the 41st, but as with so many things, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancelation of last year’s event.
“This event is very important to this community,” said FCAD President Wyman Duggan. “We get to visit neighbors we haven’t seen for a year, get to see different things, and there’s a marvelous parade every year.”
Duggan said because of pandemic-related uncertainties, organizing for this year’s event was delayed and did not start until July. That meant a smaller celebration, with fewer vendors and little live entertainment.
“We pulled it off,” he said, saying community spirit made it possible. “We have a marvelous crew.”
This year’s celebration, which included the usual parade, a car show, tractor pulls, tours of farms and the local geology, also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and was marked by a short ceremony and a moment of silence a little after noon.
“In one single moment, life may never be the same,” said Grant County Fire District 3 Chief Tony Leibelt, flanked by Quincy Police Chief Kieth Siebert and Leslie Thompson of Protection-1 LLC. “Tonight, before you go to sleep in preparation for life tomorrow, kiss the ones you love.”
“Never take one second of your life for granted,” Leibelt added.
Prior to the Saturday morning parade, members of the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters gathered at Memorial Park to add 15 names to the Quincy Valley Veterans Recognition Wall, which celebrates any area resident who served in the military or the U.S. Merchant Marine at any time, anywhere and in any capacity.
“It’s always right to recognize those who help and serve,” said Phil Anderson, a Vietnam veteran and one of the organizers of the commemoration who noted his name is on the wall. “It has been meaningful for us and I think to the community.”
Anderson said there are 580 names on the various wall segments, and he hopes they can top 600 at next year’s celebration.
As he sat with a group of football players on a trailer covered with hay bales, Quincy High School football coach Greg McMillan echoed a sentiment held by many on Saturday — it was a good day for a parade and a community celebration.
“It feels great to be out with people in the sunshine and supporting the community,” McMillan said before the parade. “It’s great to be out here.”