Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair Parade Chairman Charles Sheets remembers all too well having to cancel the annual parade a few years ago because of weather.
But he predicts the skies will be clear Monday, Oct. 20, when the parade is expected to kick off the week of the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair.
Already, more than 90 organizations have applied to participate in the parade, but it is not too late to sign up, he said. The deadline for applications is Thursday, Oct. 16.
All entrants are encouraged to adhere to the theme, if possible. This year’s theme is “Farming: Made in the USA.”
Floats decorated with the theme will be entered for judging, and prizes will be awarded. First prize is $400; second prize is $250; third prize is $125; fourth prize is $75 and fifth prize is $50.
Non-themed entries are allowed, but will not be judged. Tractor trailer rigs and entries for the sole purpose of advertising a business are not allowed, but vehicles pulling floats or otherwise entered to carry members of clubs, schools or other groups may use business signs if the business is sponsoring the entry.
Parade participants may not throw candy or other items, as that poses a safety hazard, but such items maybe handed out at curbside by people on foot, he said.
Horseback riders and animals on leashes, such as dogs, will be placed at the end of the parade. Riders are asked to be prepared to show Coggins test papers with negative results, as required by state law, and are asked to pay a $5 fee for each rider to tip the cleanup crew that will follow behind. This year, the cleanup crew will be dressed as clowns.
The parade has only been canceled once in more than 50 years, Sheets said. In case of light rain, the parade will go on as scheduled and will only be canceled in case of severe weather. Sheets said there are already more out-of-town participants signed up than in the past. The fair serves seven counties: Bulloch, Bryan, Candler, Evans, Jenkins, Screven and Tattnall.
Beauty queens, classic cars, trucks and tractors, local and state dignitaries, high school bands, dance groups, children’s sports and other groups and more will make up the parade that starts at 5 p.m. Oct. 20 on North Main Street at East Olliff Street. The parade will end at Fair Road near Wendy’s.
Participants are asked to be in their assigned spots for lineup by 4 p.m. Monday. Horseback riders must follow the “Blind Willie” McTell Trail back to the parking lot on Hill and Mulberry streets behind Coastal Countertops. This enables the cleanup crew to be efficient in keeping the city streets clean.
The Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair will open at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds on Georgia Highway 67. Admission is $5 for adults, but a $2 discount will be given to those who bring a canned food item to be given to the Statesboro Food Bank, according to Kiwanis spokesmen.
For more information or to sign up for the parade, visit
http://kiwanisogeecheefair.org/parade.html or call Sheets at (912) 587-9232. Horseback riders interested in participating may call (912) 531-2865 for more information on entering horses and wagons in the parade.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.