Local 249 activists turn out for Northland events

By Erica Eckart

Every fall, the Northland puts on two parades that are a part of local history. The first parade is the Liberty Fall Fest Parade, which is a three-day event held on the fourth full weekend of September, in Historic Downtown Liberty, Mo., where locals from the community come to enjoy craft/food booths, a one-of-a-kind parade, a carnival, along with live music, children’s activities and much more! The festival offers many opportunities for locals to showcase their many artistic talents from handcrafted ceramics and woodwork to jewelry, metal work, drawings, paintings and food.

Tasty food and beverages are sold throughout the festival to benefit local non-profit groups so parade goers are able to enjoy great food while supporting worthy causes.

The city of Liberty is a small town but is rich with history. In the 1800s, American settlers began to arrive. By 1822 the settlement had grown to become the county seat for Clay County. In 1829, Liberty was the second oldest incorporated town west of the Mississippi River.

This year’s festival celebrated its 44th year and is now an established tradition that Local 249 is proud to be a part of. Our Local, and its members get the chance to walk in the parade and showcase two of our own Kansas City made F-150’s.

One of the ways Local 249 members enjoy participation is by decorating our trucks, often showing support for our local elected officials, who have shown unwavering support for UAW Local 249 members and the working class as a whole.

Among the representatives in both parades this year were Mark Ellebracht, Missouri state representative, District 17, Clay County; Ashley Aune, who is convinced she needs an F-150 after riding in one, Missouri State representative, District 14; Maggie Nurrenbern, Missouri State Representative, District 15; John Carpenter, former Missouri State Representative who is currently a Clay County Commissioner; Megan Thompson, Clay County Commissioner; and our latest endorsement Zach Thompson, currently running for Clay County Prosecutor (Non-Partisan).

The second of these colorful parades is the annual Gladfest Parade. For twenty-five years now, this major Northland event has drawn huge crowds, and brings with it massive publicity for Gladstone, and all the businesses involved in making this annual event happen. Activities at Gladfest include commercial and craft tents, tons of excellent food, a carnival, live entertainment, the parade, and much more.

Gladfest is usually held over the third full weekend of October, but this year the parade began on October 2nd. As with the Liberty Fall Festival, the main event for Gladfest is the parade, which usually means the streets are lined with families and children eagerly excited to see all the local participants in their various floats, with local businesses, high school performances, live bands and as always lots of candy!

Parade participants maintained the tradition of tossing handfuls of candy to the children lining the parade route and you can always count on Local 249 members, State reps and everyone else to show up with literal truckloads of candy for the kids.

Local 249 is honored to be able to participate in both timeless and historical events. We look forward to continued participation and would like to invite all our members to come and join the fun. If you are interested, or would like to learn more, contact Shirley Mata, Chair of the CAP committee for more information. Thank you to the members of Local 249 and their families for making these two events a huge success.