Riley doctor named Fall Festival parade grand marshal


By Mark Ambrogi

Dr. Chuck Dietzen has devoted his life to helping children.


The Zionsville resident is the medical director for pediatric rehabilitation at Riley Hospital for Children. In 1997, he created Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit that encourages students and volunteers to help children around the world in countries such as the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nigeria.

Dietzen will be honored as the grand marshal for the Zionsville Fall Festival Lions Club parade. The parade, which lasts approximately two hours, will start at 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at Zionsville Community High School. It ends on Main Street.

The grand marshal is selected by the Fall Festival committee after suggestions, parade chairman George Tikijian said.

The 2016 parade was canceled because of rain and lightning for the first time since Tikijian has been involved.

“For the first time since I’ve been doing it, we had to cancel,” Tikijian said. “This will be my 24th parade, counting the canceled one.”

The Shriners, who were in town for a national convention, were supposed to be part of the parade. Tikijian said rescheduling is not feasible.

“This year it’s a more normal parade (with) the high school and the two middle school bands,” Tikijian said. “One interesting thing is they are going to have a couple of miniature donkeys. I’m told they are no taller than a Great Dane.”

The theme of the festival is “Yo! Ho! Ho! And a Park Full of Fun!” There are approximately 95 groups in the parade.

“We will have pirate ships and pirate costumes. and we’ll have a lot of fun with that,” Tikijian said.

Meg Julien, the first woman inducted into the Zionsville Lions Club in 1994, served as the 2016 grand marshal.

“Since the parade was canceled, that afternoon we took the banner naming her grand marshal and they drove her around the Fall Festival so people could see it,” Tikijian said.


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