The highlight of the Florence Labor Day Celebration Sept. 2-4 will again be the parade, according to Scot Zogelman, director.
As usual, the parade will begin at 11 a.m., with line-up starting around 10:30 at the corner of 9th and Marion Street by the Catholic Church.
“We need all kinds of entries,” Zogelman said.
One change this year is that floats will not be separated into youth and adult divisions. Prizes will be awarded for the top three floats. The top prize will be $100, second-place will receive $75 and third-place $50.
Zogelman said children are encouraged to decorate their bicycles and ride in the parade. All bicycle entrants will receive a free carnival ticket.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Florence, Focused on the Future.”
Anyone wanting more information about the parade can contact Zogelman at 878-4225 on weekdays.
“It would be great if we could know ahead of time who will be coming for the parade” he said, “but everyone is welcome and the majority usually just show up.”
The parade in Florence has been a tradition as long as most residents can recall. To this day it is one of the most attended and anticipated in the area, Zogelman said.
“We usually have a good number of entries and the street is usually packed with spectators beginning to end,” he said. “Most years, the weather is so pleasant this time of year it’s just nice to be outdoors and enjoy a good old-fashioned hometown parade.
“One problem we have had for several years is we are unable to get outside bands to participate,” Zogelman added. “I don’t know if it is just too early in the season or the other bands don’t think they can measure up to the Marion-Florence Band.”
Bands are encouraged to participate, whether they march or ride a trailer.
“Remember, being a band member in the Labor Day Parade is a paid position,” Zogelman said. “You get a can of soda.”
Zogelman said the Labor Day Committee still has a few job opportunities, both paid and volunteer. Any interested in learning more about those opportunities should contact Zogelman.