Fall Festival: Parade always a fun event

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By Heather Lusk

Three dance teams, two equestrian groups, gymnasts and plenty of Boy and Girl Scouts will be among the youngsters marching in this year’s Fall Festival parade. They’ll be joined by a wide variety of vehicles including Corvettes, Teslas, hot rod golf carts and miniature Model Ts along with the ever-present fire trucks and police vehicles.

With a Wild, Wild West Theme, more than 100 entries are expected to travel through town Sept. 12. The parade is the kickoff for the 62nd annual Fall Festival weekend of events that is the Lions Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“It’s always been a fun event,” said George Tikijian, who has coordinated the parade since 1997.

And if the weather is less than favorable?

“We don’t talk about rain,” said Tikijian. “Sometimes at the lineup it’s cold.”

The parade starts at Zionsville Community High School at 10:15 a.m. and heads south down Mulberry Street. At Ash Street, the parade turns to the west then south down Main Street. Tikijian estimates that it usually reaches downtown by 11 a.m.

The reviewing stand at Cedar and Main Streets will play music prior to the parade before Leigh Ann Akard and Ray Cortopasi announce the parade entries as they pass. This is Akard’s second year as an announcer while Cortopasi estimates it’s been 10 years.

“It’s come to be something I really treasure, because it’s one of those long-held family traditions in Zionsville that brings everyone together,” said Cortopasi, a news anchor at Fox 59. “It brings people not only from our community but all around central Indiana.”

Cortopasi said he feels honored to be a part of the festivities.

“I keep thinking, ‘This is the year they’re going to want to shake things up and have someone else be the emcee,’ but, God bless them, they keep having me back,” he said. “I’ll keep coming back until they finally get sick of me and my jokes!”

Read more about the Zionsville Fall Festival here.

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