Local News | Sauk Valley News

Grand Detour’s golf cart procession a tribute to unorthodox and unusual

What does the “Red, Great White and Blue Shark,” a three-wheeled Harley Davidson, and a 20-year-old parrot named June all have in common?

That’s easy: All three took part in the Grand Detour Golf Cart Parade, which is the village’s procession of the unorthodox and unusual that takes place during Fourth of July weekend.

“It’s all a lot of fun,” said Jim Ross, organizer of the event as he strolled by the 61 entries before the start of the evening ride. “It’s interesting to see all the decorations and the ideas people come up with.”

Mark and Linda Downey’s shark entry filled that bill perfectly, all thanks to a freezer shipping box and some big googly eyes from Amazon.

“We made the shark out of a freezer box from Knie’s,” said Mark. “It took about a day to make, but all I had to do was then paint it.”

Linda said her search for this year’s entry started on the internet. “I saw “Red, Great White, and Blue Shark” on the internet and I thought ‘We could do that,’” she said. “Each year we try and do something different. Mark drew the eyes on, but I knew we needed something with more pop, so we found them on Amazon and got them here on time with 2-day shipping.”

The front of the cart was the shark’s mouth and a large fin donned the roof. As an added perk, Mark and Linda’s 8-year-old granddaughter Campbell rode along to hand out little shark hats and packets of Goldfish crackers.

June, a yellow-naped Amazon parrot owned by Jared Tate, sat on the bottom of his golf cart’s windshield rail awaiting the trek around the village.

“She’s 20 years old. We had Johnny too, for June and Johnny Cash, but he passed away,” said Tate.

In the homemade category, the Hughes and Lowes boys arrived in a Can Am ATV that had two passengers in tow in a 1968 Arctic Cat Cutter — a sled normally pulled by a snowmobile.

“It’s like a sleigh, but we put a wheel dolly under it and made this,” said Weston Hughes, Jr. pointing to the add-on. “We did it today. It took about an hour.”

In the more jazzy category, was Mark and Deb Gale’s 1970s-era sandal/dune buggy. Painted orange and powered by a VW engine, the loud street-legal cruiser was a crowd favorite.

And in the more traditional lane, Mark and Sherri Shaulis’ 1969 Harley Davidson golf cart filled the bill.

“My brother has a Harley and he was always asking me when I was going to get one,” said Mark. “I found this three-wheeled Harley golf cart so I called him and said ‘Hey, I finally got my Harley’. He wanted to know what color, and I told him Harley orange. And then he wanted to know the year, and I told him 1969. I had some fun with him for awhile.”

This year’s grand marshal of the parade was 93-year-old Beulah Schumacher, a 59-year resident of Grand Detour. She rode in the back seat of one of the gold carts and tossed candy to kids along the parade route.

When asked what she thought about the parade she quipped: “I think its kinda silly”.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.