Attending New Albany's annual Founders Day parade has been a tradition for Harry and Phyllis Sage since 1986, when their daughters, Jennifer and Amanda, participated in the parade with preschool classmates.

The Sages will attend this year's Founders Day parade and festival Saturday, May 20, but this time as grand marshals, honored for their dedication to the community and the New Albany-Plain Local School District.

Phyllis Sage said over the years, she and her husband did everything they could for local children.

"We had a blast doing it," she said. "I would do it all over again."

The event also will present nonprofit organization Lettuce Work with a 2017 Community Connection Award.

Lettuce Work, 14985 Fancher Road, provides employment opportunities for autistic young adults at its greenhouse.

The festival committee annually chooses organizations to recognize those doing good in the community, committee member Stacy Adkins said.

The committee also selects grand marshals from community nominations, she said.

Grand marshals Harry and Phyllis Sage were active and involved with the school district, Adkins said.

When their daughters were in New Albany-Plain Local Schools, their home became a place for their classmates to spend evenings playing euchre, Phyllis Sage said.

She also volunteered as a room mother for her daughters' classrooms, helping organize parties and crafts, and spent several years running the Just Say No Club, a precursor to the DARE program.

Harry Sage spent 15 years as a bus driver for the district and became involved in athletics. He coached a recreational softball league and the New Albany High School girls basketball team, and he became site manager for high school athletics events.

Harry and Phyllis Sage are 66 and 65, respectively, and they resided in New Albany from 1985 through 2007 before moving to Sunbury.

Event details

Founders Day is a free annual event that begins with a parade.

Lineup begins at 9:30 a.m. and the procession starts at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection at 6300 East Dublin-Granville Road. It turns right on Market Street and proceeds onto U.S. Route 62 before ending at the New Albany 2-5 building at 87 N. High St.

Adkins said the parade features New Albany businesses and local organizations. Floats this year will adhere to the theme, "The best of New Albany."

She said the event typically attracts as many as 60 float entries.

"A lot of the groups really get into it," she said.

Mounted horses from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office will join the parade, as will the New Albany High School band, Adkins said.

The festival will begin immediately after the parade. It is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. at the 2-5 building, Adkins said.

Attractions include rides and inflatable games for children and vendors selling crafts and food. As many as 7,000 people usually attend, she said.

The event is held rain or shine. Parking is available at the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, 150 W. Main St., the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, 100 E. Dublin-Granville Road, and the adjoining lots at New Albany Middle School, 6600 E. Dublin-Granville Road.

The New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society's Ealy House at 6359 Dublin-Granville Road also will be open after the parade until late afternoon. A quilt portraying early New Albany will be displayed there.

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@ThisWeekSarah