BENSON — Benson’s annual Butterfield Stage Days Parade is happening on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Organized by the Benson Youth Movement (BYM), the parade lineup is at Union and Patagonia streets in front of Benson Primary School.
“arade entry forms can be picked up at Native Grounds Coffee Stop at 303 W. Fourth Street, and Zearing’s Mercantile at 324 E. Fourth Street, said parade and BYM organizer Brianna Skaarer. “For entry fees, we are accepting donations, with proceeds going to the BYM in support of youth events and programs that we host.”
BYM is a team of adults who provide safe and fun places for youth to hang out.
“We have also organized two BYM food pantries, available on the Benson School School District campus, as well as the Pomerene School District campus,” said Skaarer. “We’re in the process of organizing a third food pantry for the St. David campus.”
Food supplies for the BYM pantry are donated by the community, as well as purchased through the youth movement’s fundraising efforts.
In the past, the Butterfield Parade has always been organized by the Benson Junior Woman’s Club. Because of COVID concerns, the group decided not to hold a parade this year.
“When we learned the parade had been canceled, the BYM decided to step up and organize it,” said Skaarer, who noted they had about a month to get the job done. “So, it’s been a bit of a scramble for us, but we’ve had great community support.”
While advance entries are preferred, it is possible to enter the day of the parade.
“We have prizes for the top three entries, and we’re going with a ‘We, the People’ theme,” Skaarer said.
John McFate, owner of local business From Rags to Riches, is helping with the effort by donating handmade cornhole boards to raffle off.
“Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Benson VFW,” McFate said. “Dan Barrera is our parade announcer, and our esteemed parade judges are Vicky Konrad, Kendra DeBruler and Leah Gawin.”
Examples of some of the entries include the Benson Pony Express, Rex Allen Days Rodeo royalty and Benson Butterfield Rodeo royalty. Legacy Performing Arts, From Rags to Riches, Native Grounds Coffee Stop, the BYM and Operation Christmas Child are some of the float entries that will be making their way down the parade route. The Benson Fire Department also will have some of its trucks in the parade.
In support of the BYM food pantries, non-perishable food donations will be accepted at the parade registration table.
“So, we’re urging everyone to come out and support this community event. It’s a great way for our community to come together in an outdoor setting. After the parade, be sure to stop by the Butterfield Rodeo at the Arena Bar for a jam packed day of rodeo-action.”