Town hopes to start new parade tradition
ROACHDALE -- A group of Roachdale citizens is hoping to revive a tradition in the town that has fallen by the wayside.
Many years ago, Roachdale had a summer festival complete with a parade and children's activities. This weekend a festival -- held in conjunction with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post's fish fry and dubbed VFW Fish Fry and Summerfest -- will be held in an effort to rekindle a spirit of community cohesiveness in the tiny burg.
"They used to have parades, carnival rides, a talent show and fireworks," said Connie Edwards, who has lived in Roachdale for five years. "Then they just stopped."
Several citizens attended a Roachdale PRIDE (Preserving Roachdale's Identity enthusiastically) meeting this spring, and the idea of a festival was broached.
"Nobody volunteered," said Edwards. "So I started thinking, 'Can I do this? Do I want to do this?'"
Edwards decided she'd try, and became one of the head organizers of Summerfest. She has worked alongside Debbie Sillery, who she said was "wonderful help."
"Without her, there's no way we could have done what we've done," Edwards said.
Summerfest activities will kick off Friday with the VFW fish fry at 4 p.m. and music by Nashville Connection from 7 to 10 p.m.
Things will resume bright and early on Saturday with a farmer's market and bake sale, as well as a café hosted by the Delta Theta Tau sorority, from 8-11 a.m.
Registration for a car show at the VFW will begin at 9 a.m. the show and a fish fry will take place beginning at 11 a.m.
Lineup for the parade will be at Roachdale Elementary at 3:30 p.m. The parade, which will proceed down Washington Street, will commence at 4 p.m.
"The community has done a wonderful job supporting this parade," Edwards said.
After the parade, there will be games behind the library until 7 p.m. The North Putnam High School Jazz Band will perform from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by music provided by disc jockey Aaron Wylde of DTP Entertainment, Crawfordsville.
A memorial balloon service hosted by the Pat Allen family will take place at 7:30 p.m.
Bonnie Yahuraus, a PRIDE committee member, is impressed with how well the planning for Summerfest has gone.
"The people who have been working on this are pulling it off with great style," she said. "They're initiating getting our community together again and setting a great example."
Others who are helping with Summerfest include Jenni Engel, Jana Brothers, Joannie Knapp and Darrell Sandusky.
Edwards hopes Summerfest will take root and continue to grow each year.
"We'd like to get more vendors and more entertainment and make it even bigger," she said.