Box Car Days takes 90th bow

Thousands of people lined the streets of Tracy for Monday’s 90th Box Car Days Grand Parade. This year’s parade had a little twist, in that it traveled in the opposite direction as it usually does. No one seemed to mind, however, as all the cars, bands, animals, floats, tractors, businesses and high school royalty were cheered on by happy parade-goers. It was yet another parade that would’ve made Dr. Workman proud.
No one had a better time on the Box Car Day midway Sunday than Caleb Kallsen, 2, of Tracy, who was enjoying this ride with his sister, Aubrey. They are the grandchildren of Dan and Deb Buysse.

By Per Peterson

What a happy birthday it was for this year’s Box Car Days.
Tracy’s annual three-day event was the 90th and likely the biggest. From a musical doubleheader at the street dance to the 110-entry Grand Parade that literally had people looking the other way, Box Car Days 2017 was one for the books.
“Everyone said that this was the best parade in years,” Tracy Chamber Director Kim Roggatz said.
Because it was the 90th, the Chamber waived the entry fee for this year’s Grand Parade, so there were a few units parade die-hards might not have recognized.
“People liked it,” Roggatz said. “There maybe wasn’t as much shade in some areas, like on Front Street and Center. I’m not sure that was a big issue. It went very well, a lot of great comments on it.”
Roggatz isn’t sure if the route will go back to the traditional route in the future.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” she said. “Some of the streets were fuller than normal and some were emptier than normal. A lot of people moved around, because those used to being at the front of the parade still wanted to be at the front of the parade.”
A new event this year was Sunday’s Donkey Races, which attracted a good number of willing participants, plus a pretty large turnout.
“It went over very well,” Roggatz said. “We didn’t really know what to expect.”
The event had six teams, and although that was four short of what the Chamber was targeting, the event was well received.

For more on Box Car Days, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.