AZALEA PARADE A CROWD PLEASER

May 30, 2001 12:00 am

By SCOTT GRAVES

With mugs of hot coffee, cocoa and bundled against the chilly morning air, hundreds of spectators lined Chetco Avenue Saturday to enjoy the annual spectacle known as the Azalea Festival Parade.

It doesnt matter if its raining or blazing hot, were here every year, said Susan Mishoff, who, with her husband and two children, arrived an hour early to snag a good spot along the parade route.

Her sentiments were echoed by some of the hundreds of people who sat on lawn chairs, blankets and the beds of pickup trucks to view the 66 entries in this years parade.

There were a few last minute entries, but overall everything went smoothly, said Les Cohen, executive director of the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce. He credited the success of the parade to the many volunteers involved.

This is a huge community effort and everyone did their part to make it all happen, Cohen said.

The sweepstakes trophy for best overall float in the parade was awarded to Great Beginnings Preschool by Mayor Bob Hagbom.

Many of the little Brookings-Harbors treasures scampered up on stage to surround the mayor and accept the trophy.

The Mayors Award for most original float went to the Chetco Tribe of Southern Oregon. Cohen said this was the first year the tribe had participated in the parade, and he hoped it would continue to do so.

Azalea Festival Queen Elaine Prevenas presented the Queens Award for best use of color on a float to the Curry County Board of Realtors. Jeanette McVay accepted.

Her father-in-law, Archie McVay, presented the Grand Marshals Award for best use of special effects on a float to the Chetco Pelican Players. Leanne McCurley accepted.

The Presidents Award for best use of flowers on a float went to the Brookings Harbor Garden Club. It was accepted by Karen Munson and Linda Savona.

The award for the best band went to Brookings-Harbor High School, with Superintendent Paul Prevenas accepting.

Cohen said in most towns, the band program is the first to get cut when funds are tight. He said under band director Mike Shepherd, the high school and middle school bands have achieved good quality, consistency and numbers of members.

He asked people to remember when they are voting on school funds that good bands are a funding issue.

The award for best equestrian entry went to the Talk to the Hoof entry. The award for best group or singles went to the entry of the Civil Air Patrol.

The award for best antique or classic car went to Dairy Queen, whose entry included a Plymouth Prowler.

Reporter Bill Lundquist contributed to this story.