Marshall volunteers prepare for Fourth of July festivities


June 13, 2016

Marshall volunteers prepare for Fourth of July festivities at Fountain Circle





MARSHALL – A network of dedicated community volunteers and benefactors is forming that will make the Fountain Circle the place to be on the Fourth of July.

Events will get under way a little earlier in the week as the annual “Cruise to the Fountain” gets into gear. The event will be held Friday and Saturday, July 1-2, at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds in Marshall. For more information, visit www.cruiseatthefountain.com.

Young people who want to be part of the 2016 Oaklawn Pet, Bike, & Wagon Parade are being encouraged to register as soon as possible, and several options are available.

The parade will step off at 10 a.m. Monday, July 4, at Brooks Memorial Fountain, as part of the city’s Independence Day observance. Last year’s event drew about 200 participants.

There is no fee to participate in the parade, but registration is required. To be assured of participation in the parade, registrations are urged by July 1.

Registrations are being accepted online at www.oaklawnhospital.org/pet-bike-wagon-parade, where complete rules and regulations also may be viewed.

Those who wish to register by mail or in person may obtain forms at the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce at City Hall, 323 W. Michigan Ave., and at Oaklawn’s Development Office at 116 E. Prospect St.

Late registrations will be accepted only from 9 to 9:30 a.m. on the day of the event, in front of Marshall’s City Hall.

Children ages 3 through 12 are invited to create costumes and decorations that reflect the Independence Day celebration. A parent’s authorization is required in order for any child to participate in the parade. All animals must be properly caged or leashed.

Ribbons will be presented to all participants, plus first-, second- and third-place honors awarded in each of the categories – pets, bikes and wagons.

All bikers riding in the parade must wear helmets. Oaklawn is making helmets available for $5 to those who don’t bring their own. Lineup for the parade will begin at 9:45 a.m. the day of the event.

For additional information, contact the hospital’s Development Office at (269) 789-3942.

The parade will be followed at the Fountain Circle by the raising of the American flag by members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4073. Then, at 11 a.m., a lunch featuring barbecued chicken, hotdogs and ice cream will get under way, along with a performance by the Marshall Rotary Community Band.

The band performs several outdoor concerts in warm weather, during which 45 to 50 local musicians play show tunes, marches, ragtime, Dixieland and traditional concert pieces. The concert during the Marshall barbecue typically is its best-attended event.

A team of about 30 volunteers will work prior to the event to ensure that all will be in readiness to feed about 900 hungry people during the barbecue.

 Oaklawn has sponsored the parade for many years, and this will be the second year that it also will sponsor the chicken barbecue.

Vicki and Dave DeGraw of Marshall are serving as co-chairs of the event, which will have a “Celebrate America” theme.

“The Oaklawn pet parade is Norman Rockwellian, hokey and unbelievable, and anyone who ever has attended it is amazed – and says they will come back next year,” said Dave DeGraw, who will serve as master of ceremonies as he has done in past years.

Chicken-dinner tickets at $10 and hotdog-dinner tickets at $5 will be sold in advance at the downtown branch of Chemical Bank, Family Fare, Hemmingsen Drug Store, the Marshall Welcome Center at City Hall and the Oaklawn Hospital Development Office on Prospect Street.

Additional sponsors include Marshall Save-A-Lot and US Foods.

Net proceeds from the barbecue will be donated to Marshall Area Community Services as well as the local Mobile Meals program.