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Marengo getting ready for countywide Fourth event

June 04, 2008
Plans are underway for the annual Fourth of July festival at Marengo, and organizers are billing this year's event as a countywide celebration.

"In previous years, this was always the Marengo Fourth of July celebration, but this year we're making it the Crawford County Fourth of July Festival," deputy town clerk-treasurer Mona Haverstock said. " … The name has changed, but we'll still be down here in downtown Marengo."

The festival will be July 2 through 4 and, per tradition, will feature a fireworks display from atop the Marengo Warehouse and Distribution Center on the night of the Fourth.

However, there are some new events this year, including a Senior Ms. Pageant for ladies age 65 and above on July 2, and changes to some old staples, including the annual parade.

The parade will still be on the Fourth of July, but it will begin an hour later, at 6 p.m., with line-up at 5 at Marengo Elementary School, and will feature a different, shorter route.

Haverstock said the festival committee decided to make the time change in an effort to combat the heat. She added the old route, which featured line-up at the American Legion Park on the south side of town, was 2-1/4 miles long and needed to be shortened, especially for those walking in the color guard.

The new route, Haverstock said, will begin at Marengo Elementary School, go left on Second Street, left on S.R. 64, left on S.R. 66, left onto Union Street, left on Pleasant Street and then left back onto S.R. 64 back to MES.

Haverstock cautioned that persons who usually line S.R. 66 south of Union Street to watch the parade won't be able to see the procession this year because of the route change.

In addition, organizers are hoping for more floats in this year's parade, which will have the theme "Small Towns of America," with judging done during line-up at MES, as well as more antique cars, tractors and motorcycles. Haverstock said the shorter route should encourage more of those vehicles, which tend to overheat during long drives.

Another change, Haverstock said, is this year's parade will require pre-registration by 1 p.m. on July 3 at the Marengo Town Hall.

Following the parade, Tom and Katie Crecelius will present a magic show and the winners of a raffle sponsored by the Town of Marengo and the CARES before- and after-school program will be announced. Prizes will include a $100 flex pass to the Theatre on the Square in Indianapolis, passes to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, an overnight stay for two at the Leavenworth Inn and three passes to the Louisville Slugger Museum, among several other items. Proceeds from the raffle will be evenly split between CARES and the town's festival fund.

This year, organizations are encouraged to not only set up food and crafts booths but to also offer carnival games to raise money for their groups, Haverstock said. (For costs and to reserve a booth, call the town hall at 365-2158 by June 30.)

Other events will include plenty of musical entertainment, including a hymn sing on the evening of July 3, followed by the Crawford County Community Band. Plus, Stone Canyon Band will again play on the Fourth, and there will be karaoke.

The Little Miss Fourth of July Pageant, for ages 10 to 12, will follow the Senior Ms. Pageant on July 2. Contestants for both pageants may be from anywhere, not just Crawford County. The deadline to enter is June 20, and there is a $10 entry fee. (For more information, call Amy Hollen at 365-2985, Terri Mitchell at 338-3531 or the town hall at 365-2158.)

In addition, there will be more inflatables available for young children, including a four-in-one moon bounce, as well as a 20-foot-by-40-foot sports arena for older youth and adults, including a bungee run, Haverstock said.

Also, this year's festival will include a car show along Water Street by the town hall on July 4. Judging will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the trophy presentation at 4. The deadline to enter is 1 p.m. on July 4. (For more information, contact Rodney Elliott at 633-4935.)

Haverstock said the town has received some financial assistance from the other towns in the county but is also seeking corporate sponsors for the fireworks and inflatables. She said officials hope to have no charge for the inflatables, but they may have to charge $3 per child or $6 per family for wristbands good for the entire day.

A full schedule of events, with times, will appear in a later edition of the Clarion News.

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