The Pickerington Lions Club will host an annual Labor Day parade and fish fry that dates back to the 1940s.

The Pickerington Lions Club will host an annual Labor Day parade and fish fry that dates back to the 1940s.

The 62nd annual events are planned for Sept. 6.

Activities will begin with the parade at 8 a.m. and extend through the afternoon in Victory Park. The Labor Day event is the club's largest fundraiser.

It's also a tradition which goes back nearly to the club's origins in Pickerington.

"The first one was 1949," said Brian Fox, Pickerington Lions Club president. "Over the years, there've been all sorts of different things we've done, but the two things that have always been the same are the parade and fish fry.

"The Lions Club in Pickerington started in 1946," he said. "Back then, they were coming up with new fundraisers and new service types of things for the community."

Fox said the parade and fish fry were taken from a pre-existing committee that hosted a Labor Day "homecoming." However, that event faded away during World War II.

"Many of the people who were doing the Labor Day homecoming event joined the Lions Club when we started," he said. "By 1949, they said, 'Why don't we, as a club, take over the Labor Day event?'

"Back in 1949, that first year, I think they made about $280."

Participants in this year's parade will begin lining up at 8 a.m. at Pickerington High School Central. Fox said the order for the parade's procession will be set by the order in which participants arrive.

Registration for the parade can be obtained by calling Bernie Hatem at (614) 837-6544.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Its theme is "Celebrating 100 Years with the Boy Scouts," in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.

As such, all five Pickerington-based Boy Scout troops with choose a representative to serve as grand marshals for the parade.

"We recognize the Boy Scouts as a tremendous thing for kids," Fox said. "We think that the 100th anniversary is a great milestone to recognize.

"Also, our Lions Club is a chartering sponsor for Boy Scout Troop 256, which was charted the same year our Lions Club was founded."

Trophies will be given to the best-looking parade entries, based upon overall appearance and attention to theme, Fox said.

Following the parade, the fish fry will commence at 11 a.m. in Victory Park. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Chuck Steel.

Approximately 600 pounds of fish will be fried, and it will be served until about 4 p.m., or as long as supplies last.

Fish dinners, which include french fries and cole slaw, will be sold for $7. Fish sandwiches will cost $5, and hot dogs will be sold for $1.

Following the fish fry, a raffle will be held, with the grand prize being a 50-50 split of the cash proceeds. Other prizes include a lady's $500 multi-colored sapphire ring, donated by Edward Warren Jewelers; a $150 gift certificate for services at Hermann & Henry Eyecare; $100 in gift cards to Butch's Italian Café, donated by Coffee Man Beverages; and $100 in gift cards to Rule (3).

Proceeds from the event will go toward Lions Club projects, including various efforts to support local schools and eyesight and blindness programs.

"One of the things the Lions are very proud of is the money we raise from the public, 100 percent of it, goes back to our charitable and civic activities," Fox said. "Whatever community issues pop up, we like to give our support.

"Typically, we donate $7,000 to $8,000 a year to local causes," he said. "The success of the Labor Day parade has a big impact on how much we can spend."

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