One woman wore a horse beanie. Another dressed as a pirate. A dog dressed as a hot dog rode in a cart behind a bike.

They were all part of the crowd that wandered the streets of the northeast neighborhood Saturday for the 2019 Parade of Sheds, a celebration of the Bozeman neighborhood’s quirky character.

Organizers say it’s a spoof on the Parade of Homes that happens on the same day on the other side of Bozeman.

As people gathered at a small park near the former Northern Pacific Railway Station on North Ida Avenue, event organizer Deidra Booth said the parade was about getting people involved.

“This is a parade of participants — not of viewers,” she told the crowd.

Booth then blew into a party horn and about 50 people followed a red rusted truck through the streets.

The group was noisy. They cheered, whistled, shook a tambourine and blew into horns. When the group got alongside the railroad tracks on Front Street, they broke out singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

After the parade, the crowd disbursed to tour 13 different homes. Each homeowner shed light on something different, said Amy Hoitsma, event organizer.

One homeowner showcased a mural of a whooping crane while another invited people into her backyard for pirogues and to check out her water-efficient garden. Hoitsma said the tour was a way to preserve the historic culture of the north side and to reinforce the character of the artistic neighborhood.

“It’s a fun way to show off and celebrate the sheds,” she said.

Åsa and Jay Pape cooked Swedish pancakes behind their garage, something they’ve done for most of the parade years.

That started because Åsa loves American pancakes. One year, around the time of the parade, Jay asked Åsa what Swedish pancakes tasted like.

“I said, ‘I’ll show you,’” Åsa said. They’ve been making pancakes for the parade ever since.

Just south of the Pape’s shed, Zelpha Boyd was waving people into her backyard garden that featured a tree with blue bottles on the end of its branches. Boyd said the event was a funny, good thing to do and helped fulfill the purpose of having a garden: to share it.

“If I had it for myself, it wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful,” she said.

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.

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