Kapsner family keeps tradition alive with float in Hillman 4th of July parade

Kapsner-Fam-Float2The Hillman Legion has sponsored a parade for years, first at Gotvald’s Store, and then sometime in the early 1970s through the town of Hillman. Jennifer Henry’s family, the Kapsners, have had a float in the Hillman parade for many years. Henry said that other than the candy thrown, the family doesn’t spend a lot of money on their floats. “For example, the float this year was inspired by a box of decorations that my sister ended up with from her church auction because no one else wanted them,” said Henry. “We also had another entry in the adult parade — The Hillman Band — which consisted of my brother-in-law, my nephew and my nephew’s wife’s niece. Everything for that entry was either borrowed or made. Sometimes a lot of thought goes into our floats, but just as often, it’s a spur of the moment thing. I came up with The Hillman Band idea on the Wednesday before the parade because my mother was sad that there wasn’t going to be a band this year, and it won second place. Every year we arrive at the staging area with an empty trailer and several boxes and bags full of decorations and costumes. Family members who don’t want to actually be on the float help quite a bit with set up.” All the people involved in the float in this picture are either children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of Lee and Del Kapsner, who live about three miles East of Hillman. For many years Lee was the parade organizer but gave it up several years ago due to age. This year, at age 88, he went through the parade not once, but twice — first as part of the Legion float and then with the Knights of Columbus. “He had a four-wheeler at the end of the parade so he could make it back in time. Turns out, his second float was back before our float even left. If I had known that, I would have made him be on ours, too,” said Henry. Pictured are (from left): Peggy Koscielniak (handing out candy), Del Kapsner, David Kapsner (mostly obscured behind Del), Jake Henry (partially obscured by flag), Alex Henry (mostly obscured, dark hair, white shirt), Mylee Kapsner, Sydney Kapsner, Ben Henry, Jenna Koscielniak and Peter Kapsner (with black hat).