Lions to host Labor Day parade, fish fry Sept. 3
Members of the Pickerington Lions Club this year will tip their hats to the performing arts when they host the local community's Labor Day celebration for the 64th time.
Sept. 3, Olde Pickerington Village and Victory Park will feature live music, inflatable amusements for kids and, of course, a parade and hundreds of pounds of fried fish.
It wouldn't be Labor Day in Pickerington if those festivities weren't taking place, at least not if the Pickerington Lions Club has any say in the matter.
"This will be our 64th year for the Labor Day parade and fish fry," said Brian Fox, president of the Pickerington Lions Club. "We're looking forward to it."
The Lions once again will host the community's Labor Day celebration. It will all begin with a parade lineup starting at 8 a.m. at Pickerington High School Central, 300 Opportunity Way.
This year, the parade and subsequent activities in Victory Park will honor the theme, "Celebrating Pickerington Schools' Performing Arts."
In recognizing the vocal, musical and theater talents the community and the Pickerington Local School District have boasted for decades, the Lions this year selected Margaret Lawson, John Long and Mike Sewell to serve as parade grand marshals.
In their respective positions as former Pickerington High School North theater director, former Pickerington High School Central vocal music director and Pickerington Central marching band director, Lawson, Long and Sewell have left an undeniable imprint on the performing arts in the school district, the community and beyond during three decades.
Participation in the parade is free, and registrations will be accepted at the 8 a.m. lineup, Fox said.
However, the Lions are asking parade participants who can register in advance to do so by contacting Bernie Hatem at 614-837-6544, or via email to email@example.com.
"We don't charge to be in the parade and it's always great if we can get folks to follow the theme at least a little bit, but we also understand some of the people and some of the businesses use the same float each year," Fox said.
"We would just love to see more floats and people involved in the parade, and we just tell people to use their creativity."
The parade procession will begin at 10 a.m.
Lions' members will select best-looking entries based on overall appearance and attention to theme in both the commercial and non-commercial categories, and prizes of $50 and $25 will be awarded to winners.
At 11 a.m., the annual fish fry will begin in Victory Park.
This year, the Lions will fry 500 pounds of fish, and it will be sold until 4 p.m., unless supplies run out before then.
"We have a whole dinner for $8 per person," Fox said. "That's three really good-sized pieces of fish, a bun, cole slaw and fries.
"We're also selling fish sandwiches for $5 and we'll have just fries for sale for $3," he said. "We also sell hot dogs for a buck a piece."
Proceeds from the food sales fund the Pickerington Lions Club's year-long philanthropic and charitable efforts, which include adopting families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as providing eyeglasses and other vision-related products and services to people with sight problems.
"This is one of the biggest fundraisers we have for the Lions in Pickerington," Fox said.
"All the money we raise, 100 percent, will go to our charitable activities."
In addition to the fish fry, the Lions have hired disc jockey Chuck Steel to provide musical entertainment in Victory Park.
In keeping with tradition and this year's performing arts theme, the PHS North and Central marching bands, and jazz and pop rock bands from the Rock Factory of Pickerington will perform live.
"Every year we have a great combined band concert from Pickerington North and Pickerington Central," Fox said.
"They usually play about 30 minutes or more, and this year we have some of the young music groups from the Rock Factory."
Also back by popular demand, Fox said, will be inflatable amusements, which can be enjoyed by children and parents at no charge.
Fox said the amusement activities, the live music and parade are all part of the Labor Day festivities attendees enjoy and have grown to expect.
Likewise, he said, the entire celebration is something the Pickerington Lions look forward to each year.
"It's certainly a big fundraiser for us, but we consider this one of our biggest services to the community and we enjoy it," he said.
For information about the Labor Day parade, fish fry and other Labor Day festivities -- including updates -- visit PickeringtonOH.Lionwap.org and click the Labor Day tab.