Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 02 October 2012 13:51
Casey Case, parade chairman, said Marion High School classes from 1947 to 2007, in five-year increments, were there.
“What made me happy was we have used class reunions as the way to tie in to Old Settlers’ Day and there were 13 class reunions total,” he said.
“That is where I set my bar as far as a successful (Old) Settlers’ Day.”
Monetary prizes were given to the top three parade entries in three different categories, he said. Those included high school class floats, church and open categories.
The winning high school float went to the freshman class using the Old Settlers’ Day theme of “Marion City Library — Opening Books and Minds for 100 Years,” Case said. To illustrate the theme, the freshmen had a train engine pulling two cars as students onboard read books.
The Marion Christian Church took first place honors for its “Train a Child in the Ways of the Lord” float and second place went to Valley United Methodist Church with “Open Your Bible, Open Your Mind” float as Dorothy Melcher read to the children.
Good News Christian Fellowship Church came in third with members passing out water to spectators.
In the open class category, Case said, Marion High School’s FFA Chapter was first with the help of a giant light bulb saying “FFA 85 Years of Creating Bright Futures.”
Second place went to Serenity Gardens, Case said, and third went to the Marion City Library float.
“Janet took over in 1990, but started working at the library in 1974,” Case said.
In addition to prize money for the top three floats in three categories, he said, the Kiwanis Club also gives a monetary award to the bands participating.
The idea is to help band members with travel expenses or other needs they might have.
Three bands—Marion High School, Marion Middle School and Peabody-Burns High School—took part in the parade this year, he said.
The Kiwanis Club is also involved with activities at Central Park after the parade, he said, but it wasn’t always that way.
“This is the 101st Old Settlers’ Day,” he said. “Kiwanis was not even in existence that long. We are now in our 90th year.”
Ever since the local organization took over, Case said some things have been “tweaked a little bit” every year.
“We try to find things we can do to improve it, but we haven’t changed a lot,” he said, which is why it probably runs so smoothly.
It was also a time when all the graduating classes from Marion High School could make introductions, he said.
“Each class goes up in front of the gazebo and introduces themselves and some talk about the memorable things their class did,” he said.
Introductions go from the oldest classes to the more recent.
Once the introductions concluded, that is the extent of the Kiwanis Club, he said.
Activities for Saturday night differ from year to year.
“Classes have different things going on,” Case said. “Our class would rent half the (Marion Park and Lake) hall and we would have dinner out there.”
A lot of classes rent places to go and visit with one another, he said, but this year the Class of 1982 sponsored a dance at the lake.
“This took over for a community-wide dance and party,” he said. “It used to be at the Saddle Club (near the football stadium), but it’s been moved around over the years.”
When the Saddle Club disbanded, he said, the Marion Country Club took over that responsibility.
Three live bands—Clearview, the Greenhorns and Shag Nasty—performed this year.
Case also wanted to remind area residents that many of the Old Settlers’ Day activities are open to the public, such as entering a parade float or attending the community dance.