The long-time local event gives community members a chance to parade their children and pets — decked in costume — down Main Street. Including judging contests, prizes and more, the best-costumed duo will be crowned the 2019 king and queen.
This year’s parade theme is a patriotic one, in line with Wreaths Across America events set for this weekend. Despite having different themes each year, the tradition is generations old, dating further back than 1946.
“It’s been going on for many, many years,” said Stacie Strecker, the recreation coordinator for the city Parks and Recreation Department.
“We know it’s been over 75 years that this event has been in existence,” Ernsthausen Center recreational director Niki Cross said.
The parade route also follows tradition by starting at the Main Street School, at 80 E. Main St., and continues on Main Street for less than a half-mile until it reaches Sewer Park.
Judging for parade participants will be before the parade at 1 p.m. in front of the school. The king and queen will be announced at the end of the parade.
The top two contestants in each age category will receive prizes. The first 150 participants will receive American flag bandanas, and children will also get non-alcoholic drink cards for D & D Smith Winery, where games and family activities after the parade will take place.
The Ernsthausen Recreation center is responsible for organizing the event, and this year is partnering with Wreaths Across America and Norwalk’s Daughters of the American Revolution.
“They have been supporting us for years and are always very, very helpful,” Cross said of the veteran clinics.
In order to participate, you must have a costume and pet. Children of all ages are welcome.
For more, call 419-663-6775.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.