Parade lining up for Old Settlers' Day

Staff writer

The annual Old Settlers’ Day parade is already lining up — though not in a literal sense.

Alex Case, organizer and announcer for the parade, said registrations as of last week included Marion High School classes of 1951, 1956, 1996, 2001, 2006, and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, Cub Scout Pack 102, and state Sen. Rick Wilborn.

Case said additional reservations will come in right up to the day of the parade.

This year’s event marks 105 years for Old Settlers’ Day, Case said, which is always the last weekend of September. Next year, that will fall on the fifth weekend, but this year it falls on Sept. 23 to 24.

“It’s one of those things that’s the same every year,” Case said.

Old Settlers’ Day will kick off with a four-man scramble golf tournament at the country club Sept. 23, Case said. Entries are limited to 18 teams.

On the morning of the 24th, the 10 a.m. parade will run along Main St. from Walnut St. to Central Park.

The theme for this year’s parade is “Salute to Marion businesses/new and old.”

Immediately following the parade will be a picnic in the park served by Marion Kiwanis.

“That’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Case said.

Cost will be $8 for a meal deal including beef burgers, hot dogs, chips, baked beans, pie, and drink.

At 1 p.m. in the park will be games for all ages, including sack races, three-legged races, and egg toss.

Marion High School Band will have a concert at 2 p.m., followed by recognition of high school reunion classes.

One rule, Case said, is that no sales booths are allowed unless they support a local cause.

One such booth will be selling bricks to raise funds for the Marion Elementary School playground.

Case said he remembers a time when Old Settlers’ Day was a dying event. It was reinvigorated by emphasizing class reunions for the event.

Case’s own role as parade organizer and announcer is a tradition as well. His father was announcer from 1965 through 1999, and he took over in 2000.

His great-grandfather, Alex E. Case, was secretary of the original Marion County Old Settlers Association, formed in 1912.

“I’m confident my ancestors were involved since 1912,” Case said.

Last modified Sept. 15, 2016