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48th annual Fourth of July parade will be 'good size'

Cary Ashby • Jun 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Strike up the bands and get your waving hands warmed up — it’s about time for the 48th annual Norwalk Lions Club Fourth of July Parade.

Committee chairman John Flickinger said it should be “a good size parade,” with 115 entries registered as of Thursday. The average size is 110 to 120 units.

“Last year was the (Norwalk) bicentennial, so we had some extras,” Flickinger said. “They keep trickling in. … It’s always an event people get excited about.”

The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. and is expected to be at least 90 minutes long. The VFW Auxiliary will judge the entries in front of the Huron County Courthouse at the corner of East Main Street and Benedict Avenue.

Lt. Col. Dave Ditz, of the U.S. Army National Guard, will be the parade marshal. He has been on six different deployments in the last 14 years: Iraq (2004), Kuwait (2007), Afghanistan (2010, 2013 and 2017) and New York (2015). Ditz also has served with the Norwalk Police Department since September 1990. He returned from his final military deployment in early April and received an emotional welcome-home, complete with a police escort. 

The theme of the parade is “Celebrating service and inspiration.” 

Remember Our Fallen, a photo memorial of military personnel who have been killed since Sept. 11, 2001, will be part of the parade. The traveling exhibit will be at the Monroeville Athletic Complex from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 through 19.

In addition to the color guard, police and fire departments, the Fourth of July parade will include church floats, various festival queens and royalty, politicians, six to eight antique cars and the marching bands from Norwalk High, Norwalk Middle and St. Paul High schools.

“This will be the last year for Sandy Bennett,” Flickinger said, referring to the music educator who has been with Norwalk City Schools for 28 years.

Bennett’s retirement is effective July 31. She was the music director for sixth through 12th grades.

“She’s probably going to have a big smile on her face (at the parade),” Flickinger said.

The last entry will be Crane Masters, which is new to the parade. The business will showcase six cranes that are 26 to 70 feet long.

Proceeds from this year’s parade raffle will go to Inspiration Station.

Inspiration Station is a homework club and tutoring program focused on, but not limited to, Hispanic elementary school age children in Norwalk. There are two tutoring sessions at the Norwalk Public Library at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. There are two tutoring sessions at the Jefferson Street location at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The current building at Jefferson Street is too small. A new building is going up at 105 Jefferson St. and the project is about half complete. Funds raised at the parade will go to the project.

For more information contact Bob Sands at [email protected] or call 419-543-0773.

The parade committee consists of: Flickinger, Wayne Babcanec, Sheila Baldwin, Linda and Jim Bersche, Jay Ewell, Ed Leroux, Keith Kovarik, Ken Leber, Jeff Little and Clarence Poole.

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