Fair parade getting new blood pumped into July 18 event
The route is the same, the obstacles dodged have been many, but now it's all systems go for the 2014 edition of the Putnam County Fair Parade.
The fair parade is scheduled for Friday, July 18, leaving the point at Wood and Washington streets in Greencastle at 6:30 p.m. and making its way downtown before 7 p.m., new Fair Parade Committee Chairman Nancy Michael said.
With the theme of "Join the Club ... It's a Family A-Fair," the 2014 parade will usher in a new era for the extravaganza that annually kicks off one of Indiana's biggest and best county fairs.
For not only is former three-term Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael succeeding retired parade chairman Dorothy Edwards, who with husband Gerald dedicated more than 30 years to organizing the parade, but Doug Wokoun is following in the footsteps of his mother, Jinsie Bingham, as the voice of the Putnam County Fair Parade after more than 30 years.
Rest assured, Bingham and the Edwardses won't be missing in action July 18. Instead, they will be front and center this year, riding along the parade route as tri-grand marshals.
"It really has been an honor to have been a part of it," Bingham said in announcing her retirement at last year's event, calling the parade "such a wonderful representation of all elements of Greencastle and Putnam County."
Edwards couldn't agree more, noting that the Putnam County Fair Parade is "probably the largest 4-H parade in the state."
And Michael wants to keep it that way, noting that the Fair Parade Committee is looking for bands and floats and clubs and organizations to help jazz things up.
"The bigger, the better," Michael said. "We're still looking for participants. And we're still waiting for people to contact us to let the committee know they're coming."
Michael wants units to contact organizers and return their completed fair parade entry forms by Monday, July 14 In order to assure a well coordinated effort.
"We'd love to have musicians and bands," she said. "That just kind of brings a parade alive, I think."
So do floats, and parade organizers are seeking groups to enter the competitive float judging competition for which monetary prizes will be awarded. First, second and third places will be named in two divisions, Youth and Adult, this year.
The theme of "Join the Club ... It's a Family A-Fair" can be broadly interpreted, Michael said.
"Regardless of what club you belong to, you can be creative," she said.
For example, sports teams can get involved, as well as groups like clubs in the county and city, she suggested.
"They all have something to show off," Michael added.
While construction has been ongoing in Greencastle, it won't affect the parade, organizers stress.
The route will follow Washington Street to the square, passing the reviewing stand in front of the Masonic Temple just east of Vine Street where Wokoun will be announcing the participants as they pass.
Units will then proceed to the square, either continuing north on Indiana Street and on to the fairgrounds or turning back east on Franklin Street to return to the staging area.
Participants will be lining up at the Greencastle High School parking lot, Robe-Ann Park and along Gardenside Drive, as assigned by the Parade Committee.
For questions about entering the parade, persons may contact Michael at 720-1974, via email at email@example.com or send her a message via Facebook.
There will even be action along the route before the parade begins.
For the 10th straight year, the Headley Parade of Fitness Walk/Run, sponsored by Karen and Matt Headley, will start from the south side of the courthouse and go to the Wood-Washington street intersection and back.
The 1.5-mile run/walk begins at 6 p.m. Entry fee is $15 per person with all proceeds going to benefit Putnam County 4-H programs.
Medals will be awarded for the top three finishers in Men's, Women's, and Children's run and walk categories. T-shirts will be given to all participants.
Registrations are available at Headley Hardware, Dairy Castle, the city pool and City Hall. Registration can also be done the day of the parade from 5-6 p.m. on the south steps of the courthouse.
For more information on the run/walk, persons may contact Karen Headley at 720-0792.
Meanwhile, immediately after the parade, the Greencastle Civic League and Greencastle Rotary Club and other groups will be helping with clean-up along the parade route.
"Of course, we also encourage individuals and participants to clean up their own areas," Michael added.