While watchers and participants of the Cutie Parade on Wednesday were drenched, the dark skies in the south moved around North Webster Saturday for the 68th annual Mermaid Festival Parade. A few sprinkles, just enough for judges to open up the umbrellas to keep their paperwork dry, was all the rain that fell during the 50 minute parade, until later in the day.
This year’s parade had close to 70 entries, led by North Webster American Legion Post 253 Color Guard, followed by North Webster, Kosciusko County, Syracuse, Indiana State Police and Warsaw police departments and the North Webster Fire Department and EMS. As tradition emergency vehicles only utilized lights, no sirens.
Sparta and Washingtown townships fire departments each entered a vehicle.
Cindy Routh officially started the parade with the singing of the National Anthem.
This year’s parade include 19 Queen of Lakes pageant contestant entries and 10 bands, including Wawasee High School Marching Warrior Pride as the host band. This is said to have been the most number of bands participating in the parade in years. Each band was given travel money from the Shoop Foundation.
Awards were only presented to the bands with the Emerald Alliance Bremen Marching Band taking first place, John Glen High School Falcon Pride band taking second and East Noble High School Marching Knights placing third.
Other bands included Woodlan Junior Senior High School Spirit of Woodlan band; Whitko Marching Pride from Whitko High School, South Side High School’s Green Machine band; Westview Junior/Senior High School Marching Warriors; Angola High School’s Marching Hornets; and Clay High School Colonial Marching Band.
Walking units, including local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; vehicles; a horse drawn carriage and numerous floats from area organizations.
Queen Conveyance parade winners included Kierstin Bailey, Miss Little Tippy Lake,with her “Tea Time” entry under a gazebo decorated with flowering vines and a small girl dressed for formal tea, placing first; Aarika Olenik, Miss Ridinger Lake and her “Little Dixie’s,” placing second; Kayla Courtney, Miss Waubee Lake, riding in a convertible dressed as a southern belle with a confederate officer, placing third.