On behalf of the Great Lakes Shrine Association and the Murat Shriners, we would like to express our deep appreciation for the spirit of cooperation and community spirit exhibited by the Zionsville Lions Club in allowing the 21 Shrine Centers that are members of the Great Lakes Shrine Association to be included in the Sept. 10 Zionsville Fall Festival Parade.
After literally years of planning, the Shrine was poised to parade 250 vehicles and 135 walkers in the Zionsville Fall Festival Parade, which would have doubled the size of the parade. To accomplish this, the Zionsville Lions negotiated additional staging areas for our vehicles and a separate staging area for our walkers. In addition, they allowed us to have a vendor space during the Fall Festival where we could seek new patients for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. We also had good cooperation from the Zionsville Police Dept. and the Town of Zionsville in planning to handle the large increase in vehicular traffic prior to and following the parade.
Unfortunately, as many already know, a huge thunderstorm struck just as the paraders, including the Zionsville Community High School and Zionsville Middle School bands, were scheduled to begin their staging, resulting in the need to cancel the entire parade. As a result, hundreds and hundreds of volunteers, paraders and onlookers were spared the ordeal of trying to parade during a deluge. Although disappointing, everyone involved recognized that it was the correct decision.
Notwithstanding the cancellation of the parade, the Fall Festival continued and was successful. Likewise, the Great Lakes Shrine Association’s 67th Annual Convention also continued with its afternoon festivities. Everyone was very complimentary of Zionsville, Indianapolis and our hotels at Keystone at the Crossing. So, even though we did not have the chance to parade, all of us in the Great Lakes Shrine Association and Murat Shriners came away from the experience with a renewed appreciation of the spirit of volunteerism in this great community and, especially, the Zionsville Lions. You make me proud to be a resident of Zionsville.
Phil Thrasher, 2016 GLSA president