The Zink Co. float passes by in the Battle of Fort Stephenson sesquicentennial parade in 1963. Parade organizers for the bicentennial celebration this summer hope to have an event that’s just as big. / Photo courtesy Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Ce
Jun. 18, 2013
FREMONT — Fort Stephenson Bicentennial Festival organizers are trying to get more veterans and heightened interest in the event’s parade, with the three-day celebration of the War of 1812 battle kicking off in matter of weeks.
Parade committee chairman John Shetzer said he wanted to invite all of Sandusky County’s veterans to march in and lead off the parade, which will take place Aug. 3 at 6 p.m.
He said that the committee hoped to get up to 200 parade entries for the festival, which commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stephenson.
“We’re trying to make this a little bit different than the usual Fremont parade,” Shetzer said Monday.
The parade route will start at Birchard Park and move down Croghan Street, turn onto Front Street, then head up Birchard Avenue.
Shetzer said the committee also is looking to invite any participants with military vehicles to participate in the parade, as well as any floats that would be entertaining to the public.
Committee member Karen Dray said the festival organizers would like to see a turnout that approached the 1963 Fort Stephenson sesquicentennial celebration, where an estimated 70,000 people came into Fremont for the parade.
She said organizers would like to see enough entries to sustain a two-hour parade.
Like Shetzer, Dray said the festival would like to put an extra emphasis on the area’s military veterans at the parade.
“We want to pay tribute to all veterans,” Dray said.
Rides will be offered to any veterans in need of transportation to the parade.
Interested participants can visit the festival website, www.fortstephensonbicentennial.com to get an entry form or call Shetzer at 419-334-1967.
Shetzer said the entry deadline is July 19.
He said that the parade committee had already confirmed the participation of three high school bands, as well as a number of Shriner groups and a LifeFlight flyover.
Shetzer said invitations had been extended to all seven of Sandusky County’s high school bands.