Labor Day Festival
Despite weather, festival drew 30,000 to city
Canal Winchester hosted another wildly successful Labor Day Festival this year by honoring the city's WWII veterans as the parade's grand marshals.
Despite questionable weather throughout the Labor Day weekend, officials estimate that it maintained recent years' turnout with approximately 30,000 visitors to the event.
"The daytime crowds were down a little but the nighttime crowds were as good as or better than our normal," Mayor Michael Ebert said. "I think that had a lot to do with the quality of entertainment we had.
"We had to make a lot of decisions on the fly and we were constantly watching the weather. Unfortunately, we had to cancel a few things," he said.
With scattered showers throughout the weekend the Peggy Wood Scholarship Pageant that kicks off the weekend had to be moved indoors this year and the car show had far fewer participants than in previous years, he said.
"We had 61 cars this year, whereas we'll normally have about 250. But we had some quality cars on show, including a 1955 two-door Pontiac Safari that was as pristine as I've ever seen," Ebert said.
Mikayla Boise was named Miss Canal Winchester with Katelyn Bethel as first attendant and Leigha Foster as second attendant.
Junior Miss Canal Winchester was Allie Sulnier with Lauren Robson as first attendant and Lauren Toledo as second attendant.
Cearra Taylor was chosen as Little Miss Canal Winchester. First attendant was Rachel Gauder and second attendant was Marlee Schutts.
Maddie Morris was named Tiny Miss Canal Winchester with Delainey Six as first attendant and Britton Whitworth as second attendant.
The weather held out for the grand finale Labor Day Parade. According to Councilwoman Marilyn Rush-Ekelberry, the grand marshals were a huge success.
"I want to say thanks to the Labor Day committee for having the foresight to invite the WWII vets and for us to be fortunate enough to have 22 of them ride in the parade, along with the one that couldn't," Rush-Ekelberry said. "The people here along the parade route stood as if we were flying the flag to honor these vets."
Ebert said he doesn't know how they'll top this year's grand marshals but the committee will work at it.
"It's going to be hard to beat this year, but we'll try," he said.
Vendors and entertainers alike were already reserving spots for next year's Labor Day Festival before this one wrapped up, Ebert said.