WWII vets to be honored in Labor Day parade
Canal Winchester's World War II veterans are being asked to serve once again, this time as grand marshals for the city's annual Labor Day parade on Sept. 3.
The city is currently looking for veterans of WWII who live in or graduated from Canal Winchester High School.
"The grand marshal is an important honor we like to award to a group or individual who are important to our city," Mayor Michael Ebert said. "My dad was a WWII vet, so when we were thinking of who to nominate for this year, I threw out that idea.
"We thought first about looking for an individual, but that wouldn't really honor them the way they deserve, so we want to get all of the WWII vets we can."
Any WWII veterans wishing to participate in the parade are asked to contact the Labor Day Committee at www.cwla-borday.org or to call the city at 614-837-7493.
According to Ebert, the city has already located 20 living veterans to participate in the parade, 15 of whom are Canal Winchester graduates while the others are transplants to the area.
"The parade on Monday usually brings out about 15,000 people, so the vets will get a very, very nice welcome," Ebert said. "We've had some help from the local VFW finding these guys. We thought there might be seven or eight, but were pleasantly surprised we've got 20 so far -- and hope to get more."
This will be the 92nd year for the city's annual Labor Day Festival, which originally began as the Canal Winchester Fall Festival. Ebert said the event draws about 40,000 people each year.
"The Easton Shopping Center liked the idea (of honoring veterans) and offered us the use of their trolley for the veteran grand marshals to ride in along the parade route," Ebert said. "We'll kick off the weekend with the Peggy Wood Scholarship Pageant on Saturday."
In addition, he said, music this year will include a return appearance by the British Invasion. Kingy's Beer Garden will be open and there will be "lots of festival food and rides," he said.
"We're hoping for good weather again, especially for the car show that has brought out as many as 300 cars in the past," Ebert said.
The Labor Day Festival takes place in downtown Canal Winchester Sept. 1- 3. A schedule of events and sponsors are listed online and will be updated as festival planning finalizes.
Any WWII veterans wishing to participate in the parade are asked to contact the Labor Day Committee at www.cwlaborday.org or to call the city at 614-837-7493.