Anybody who was home in the Village of Shepherd or passing through town today around 2:30 p.m. were treated to an impromptu parade. The parade was held to commemorate the 62nd Annual Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival which had been scheduled to take place this weekend but had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state restrictions.

The parade was relatively short given that it consisted of 8 farm tractors which were driven by members of local farming families. One of the tractors was driven by the surprise event’s organizers, Dave Sazima. Sazima, who has attended the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival for all of his life, said that even though the festival had been cancelled this year he wanted to keep up the tradition of holding the parade on Sunday. He noted that the group of tractors began their trip through town at 2:30 p.m., the traditional start of the festival parade. The parade is also typically the grand finale for the four-day-long festival.

“We had a great time putting this on,” another participant in the parade, Bailey Powelson, posted on Facebook. “[It was] the least we could do with our current situation.”

Residents shared positive reactions on Facebook.

“We were just saying what a beautiful day it would have been to have a parade,” wrote Joan Faulkner.

While the drive through town was orchestrated, Sazima said that he didn’t feel right publicizing considering the current concerns with COVID-19 and public safety guidelines.

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