Always an important part of the North Webster Mermaid Festival, this year’s annual parade marks the 70th year of celebration through the streets of the town. Stepping off smartly at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 27, the parade is certain to entertain people of all ages.
In the spirit of this milestone anniversary, the theme for the 2015 edition of the parade is “Back to the 70s,” featuring music, floats and entertainment reflective of that decade.
The grand marshal of the parade is First Sergeant Jacob R. Gilmer of North Webster. Gilmer joined the Army in 1998 and has become a highly decorated Ranger. He has served multiple tours overseas, including two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Currently stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., Gilmer is married to Rachel Gilmer who lives in North Webster with their three children Jacob, Morgan and Nathan.
Several high school bands are scheduled to perform and there will be numerous floats and marchers prepared to travel the parade route down Main Street.
“We have lots of entries this year,” said Steve Ward, who has been involved with the organization of the parade for 32 years. “It’s going to be big this year!”
Ward noted that the parade began in 1945, toward the end of World War II. To commemorate that connection, he has arranged for several veterans from that war to ride on the grand marshal’s float with Gilmer. The parade will begin with a salute to the veterans and a presentation to Gilmer, along with the playing of America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner in the presence of a large American flag that will be displayed from the aerial ladders of two fire trucks.
Plan to attend this annual celebration on the shores of beautiful Webster Lake.