By Liz Shepherd
ETNA GREEN — Amidst the cancelation of many local summer events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Etna Green’s annual Fourth of July parade plans are still marching on.
The owners of Etna Elevator brought the parade back in 2019 after years of the town not having an annual parade.
This year, Theresa and Josh Hartzell are working with the town’s council and clerk-treasurer, as well as a Fourth of July Committee, on the event.
Parade line-up starts at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 4, at the Etna Green fire station, 132 W. Broadway St. The parade will start at 11 a.m. and will have the same route as 2019’s parade, with the only change being the starting location.
To be in the parade, contact the Etna Elevator at (574) 858-0221 or stop by the elevator, at 120 N. Walnut St., for more information. People can sign up to enter the parade from now until July 1. Currently, the parade will have 12 grand marshals who are older Etna Green residents. Most of them are in their nineties.
“Last year, I think we had 35 people sign up,” said Josh Hartzell about parade entries. “And about 70 showed up. We really hope this brings a lot of people to the town.”
Food and craft vendors, along with games, will also be set up at Heritage Park during the day. There will be cornhole, hoverboard races and three-on-three basketball. To be a vendor at the event, call Theresa Hartzell at (574) 281-2515. A $15 fee is required to be a vendor; non-profit organizations interested in setting up a booth do not have to pay a fee.
“We want a nice variety of vendors and parade entries,” said Theresa Hartzell.
Anyone who lives in Etna Green and has a child or grandchild between the ages of 5 and 11 can also enter the town’s kiddie king and queen contest. Photos of contestants can be sent to the Etna Green Town Hall, P.O. Box 183, and must be post-marked no later than June 30. Children must be available to ride in the parade and spend time at the festivities afterward.
Etna Elevator is also seeking donations for a possible fireworks event. According to the Hartzells, purchasing fireworks and bringing in someone licensed for the event will cost approximately $3,500. Those interested in donating to help make a fireworks show happen can contact Etna Elevator for more details and further information.
The elevator will be offering free public parking during the event. Hand sanitizer will also be available for purchase at the festivities for 25 cents.
For updates on Etna Green’s Fourth of July festivities, visit the Etna Elevator Facebook page.