Military service personnel will be Grand Marshals
Updated: Wednesday, 28 Mar 2012, 8:22 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 28 Mar 2012, 8:22 AM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Community Landmarks and Legends, is the theme of the 44th annual Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival Parade.
The 2012 parade will step off at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, July 14. Lutheran Health Network is once again the sponsor of the Three Rivers Festival Parade, which has been the unofficial kickoff to the Three Rivers Festival for the past four decades.
Jack Hammer, Three Rivers Festival Executive Director, said, "Lutheran Health Network's commitment to the community shines bright in this partnership. In the past, parades have been used to inform residents of something very special about to happen. The Lutheran Health Network Parade will not disappoint."
Festival organizers also say this year's Grand Marshalls will be returning United States military service men and women from around the Fort Wayne area.
"We wanted to thank our returning veterans. Many have not been able to celebrate with us in several years, and it's very important for us to let them know how much we appreciate their sacrifice and commitment to our country," said Adam Ehle, President of Three Rivers Festival Board of Directors.
Each year, more than 50,000 people line the streets of downtown Fort Wayne to see the floats, hear the bands and celebrate the kickoff to Fort Wayne's biggest summer celebration.
This year parade entrants are encouraged to create colorful and decorative floats representing community landmarks and legends. "We may see floats representing everything from General Mad Anthony Wayne and Chief Little Turtle to the Coney Island wiener stand," said Hammer. "We are excited to see the community's creativity shine."
Applications for the Lutheran Health Network Parade are available for download at the Three Rivers Festival website, threeriversfestival.org or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for Parade applications is April 15.
Since 1969, the Three Rivers Festival has grown to become Indiana's second largest summer festival, an annual nine-day community celebration. In the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, Headwaters Park serves as the hub for over 100 official and affiliated family-friendly events.