Nov. 23 parade to feature 'King,' rodeo drill team
This year's Holiday Lights! parade will feature a king, a chief and cowgirls, among its nearly 70 participants.
Presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, the parade will step off at about 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, from the library on Granville Street.
HER Realtors is sponsoring Gahanna resident Myron Duffield, aka Calliope King of the World, and his wife, Laura June. The Duffields have traveled more than 250,000 miles, taking their custom-made calliope to more than 1,000 parades, festivals and fairs.
Calliopes are high-pitched keyboard instruments that force air through tuned whistles.
In May, Duffield was featured during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey preshow at the Schottenstein Center.
In addition to the Calliope King, retired Mifflin Fire Chief Jim DeConnick will reign as this year's parade grand marshal.
He ended a 43-year run with the Mifflin Township Division of Fire on June 15.
The 1969 Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate served as chief for 13 years, following in the footsteps of his parents. His mother, Velma, worked as a phone operator for Mifflin, and his late father, Leo, was chief of the volunteer department before it became a career division.
Gretchen Hof, GCVB events coordinator, said parade organizers are pleased to welcome a new equestrian entry this year called 40 Something Cowgirls, based in Zanesville.
"They're a rodeo drill team," she said. "I think they're from all over central Ohio. There are 15 gals. That's a new group."
Also new this year will be five snow plows from the city's service department.
Service Director Dottie Franey said the blades of the plows feature murals that recently were designed and painted by students at Lincoln, High Point and Royal Manor elementary schools and Lincoln High School.
Each plow blade will be lighted with some type of spotlight as an entry in the parade.
"Not only will students be able to see their work displayed in the parade but also in use as the plows clear snow this winter," Franey said.
Hof said the students would carry a banner in front of the plow they had painted.
She said the entry coming from the farthest away is Eastwood High School's marching band. The 79-member band will travel from Pemberville in northwest Ohio.
"We're looking forward to it," Hof said.
Liberty Union High School's marching band of Baltimore also will be featured in the parade.
Gahanna-based entries include the Gahanna Jaycees, Gahanna Junior Drill Team, Wood Werks Supply Inc., Glow Putt, Golf Depot, Judy Dollenmayer Studio of Dance, Moo Moo Express Car Wash, Mifflin Township fire trucks, Gahanna Community Theater, Heartland Bank, Gahanna TV, Cookie Cutters, GLHS Lionettes, Scout Troops 898 and 776 and Girl Scout Troop 2830.
Lighted parade entrants also will include both community-designed and professionally constructed floats.
Last year's parade attracted nearly 15,000 people to celebrate its return after a one-year hiatus because of budget constraints.
Michele Mooney, Irvin Public Relations director, said adult volunteers still are needed for parade day. She said adults would serve as "gap monitors" and help to maintain the parade's pace. Anyone interested should call the GCVB at 614-418-9114.
The parade will step off at the Gahanna library on Granville Street and proceed west to Mill Street, taking a right on Mill, right on North Street, right on High Street and returning to Granville Street, where it will end at Clark Hall.
The parade will be held rain or shine.