It seems fitting that George and Nancy Tikijian are leading the Zionsville Fall Festival as grand marshals.
George directed the parade for 20 years, finally retiring in 2018.
“I did it because it was very satisfying to do an event that made kids happy and adults pleased,” he said. “It’s a great small-town event. It’s a lot of fun doing it (and I got a) lot of satisfaction (from) the pleasure it gave people.”
The parade is set to start at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 at Zionsville Community High School and travel a 1.2-mile route to Main Street.
George first ran the parade for the Kiwanis Club. When that club folded, he ran it for the Lions Club. He and Nancy became Zionsville Lions Club members. Nancy said they also volunteered for other roles in the Fall Festival, including selling food.
“We chose George and Nancy to honor them for their decades of work with being the planners for this Fall Festival parade,” Fall Festival chairman Tim Reinhart said.
Nancy said the honor came as a surprise to both of them.
George was recently hospitalized.
“We are hoping he recovers well enough to take part in it because all we really have to do is sit in the car and ride,” Nancy said. “Our son is driving the car we’ll be in.”
Their son, George III, lives in Zionsville, and their daughter, Margo, lives in New Jersey.
George and Nancy, both 83, were high school sweethearts in South Orange, N.J. The couple moved to Zionsville in 1983 and have been active.
George and Nancy were on the start-up team of recycling in Zionsville.
“George was president of the parks board at one time, and I was on it before he was ever on it,” Nancy said. “We’ve been active with Boone County Senior Services. We did Meals on Wheels. We like to give back to the community.”