Pickerington's Labor Day Parade and Fish Fry is an annual tradition that will celebrate its 68th year Monday, Sept. 5.

Pickerington's Labor Day Parade and Fish Fry is an annual tradition that will celebrate its 68th year Monday, Sept. 5.

Sponsored by the Pickerington Lions Club, the festivities will commence with the Labor Day Parade through the heart of Olde Pickerington Village at 10 a.m. followed by the Fish Fry in Victory Park that runs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Brian Fox, event spokesman for the Lions Club, said the Labor Day festivities actually originated in 1911 when a group of local citizens held a "Homecoming" on the holiday.

He said the Lions Club took over the Labor Day festivities in 1949 and have undertaken the planning and coordination of the event ever since.

"The Labor Day celebration is the oldest continuing event in Pickerington today," Fox said.

"We consider it a service to the community, but it is also a fundraiser for our charitable giving," he said.

The Grand Marshals of the 2016 Labor Day Parade will be the combined staffs and volunteers from both the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society and the Pickerington Public Library.

"Since this is the 100th year of the Carnegie Library we thought it would be great to honor the Historical Society, which is housed in the Carnegie building and also honor the Pickerington Public Library which carries out the original mission," for which the library was built, Fox said.

Lineup for the parade will begin at 8 a.m. at Pickerington High School Central. The route is the same as in previous years: north on Lockville Road, west on Columbus Street and south on Hill Road, terminating at Ridgeview Junior High School.

In Victory Park, more than 500 pounds of perch will be cooked by the Lions Club "fish crew."

"The fish fry begins at 11 a.m., right about when the parade ends," Fox said.

"It's a big process at the park with a thawing station, breading station, fryers and order completion," he said.

He said former Pickerington city councilman and Lions Club member John Washington developed the "secret recipe" for the fish breading that is still in use today.

"Before he passed away a number of years ago, he wrote the recipe down and gave it to one of our fish crew," Fox said. "It is a secret, unique and delicious."

Free inflatable amusements and music by disc jockey Chuck Steel and the combined bands of Pickerington High School North and Central round out the entertainment in Victory Park.

"We are also giving a chance to win some cash," Fox said. "Our annual raffle has five chances to win some money."

He said the first prize is $500, second and third prizes are $100 each and third and fourth prizes are $50.

"We just want everyone to come down on Labor Day to enjoy a great parade, fish dinner and some family-friendly entertainment," Fox said.

For information about the Pickerington Lions Club Labor Day Parade and Fish Fry, go to PickeringtonOH.Lionwap.org and click the Labor Day tab.

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