Point Place hosting 20th annual paradeWritten by Betsy Woodruff | | email@example.com
On June 5, Point Place will kick off its month-long Point Place Days festival by hosting its 20th annual parade.
“Like junebugs and mayflies come every year, so does the parade,” said Mark Schuster, the parade coordinator.
Usually 1,200 to 1,500 people participate in the parade, according to Schuster. The parade features 90 to 100 groups, including the Shriners, the nationally known Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, lots of businesses, politicians, boating and yacht clubs, and school principals.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Boating Through The Years.” Schuster said he hopes it will honor local yacht clubs that have helped the boating community in Point Place. At 10 a.m., two hours before the parade, kids can participate in a bike and pet contest, decorating their bikes and dressing up their pets.
The winners get to march in the parade, which starts at noon.
“We’ve got the best parade in the city,” said Howard Pinkley, who founded it, coordinated the first 15 parades and has attended each one.
“Every one was memorable,” he said.
Because of the parade’s success, its founders began to think of additional ideas to celebrate their community, including a pie and cake contest, canoe race, flag-raising ceremony, community garage sale and a lantern walk from Cullen Park to the lighthouse.
Soon, June was filled with festivities, which became Point Place Days.
The month ends with fireworks hosted by the Shoreland community.
Getting support for the idea of a month-long community festival was not difficult.
“Everything just seemed to come right along,” Pinkley said. “‘What are we going to do after the parade’s over?”
Many community businesses help support the parade. Clubs and stores have specials, Pinkley’s Flag Shop puts flags up and down 7th St. up to the bridge, and Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion have cookouts and give money to help coordinate the parade, according to Darleen Beals, a member of the parade committee.
The parade is the most visible activity of Point Place Days because Summit Street is closed.
“If you want to get out of the Point, you better do it by 11:30,” Beals said.
The parade starts on Summit St. by Messiah Lutheran Church, goes down Summit for a mile and a half and ends at Merchant’s Landing. After the parade, everyone gathers for hot dogs and drinks, provided by the parade committee.
Pinkley said that coordinating the parade takes a lot of work.
The committee members raise money, set up tents, cook food, and make many phone calls to get people to come to the parade.
Tags: Point Place