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Plans gear up for Oaklawn's Fourth of July Pet, Bike & Wagon Parade

MARSHALL – Hundreds of kids – along with friendly animals, colorfully decorated bicycles and other wheeled vehicles – are expected to step off at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 4, in this picturesque city for the 2019 Oaklawn Pet, Bike & Wagon Parade.

The parade will circle Brooks Memorial Fountain as part of the city’s Independence Day observance, and kick off many other Independence Day activities. There is no fee to participate in the parade, but registration is required. Last year’s event drew about 300 participants. 

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. 

Sara Jeffery, Oaklawn’s development and marketing coordinator, will be the master of ceremonies for the parade. Judges for the event will be Gregg Beeg, Marla Stuck, Dr. Michael Chapman, Tracy Winnie, Natacia Becker, Joanne Johnston, Lisa Wooden, and Doug and Shannon Martin.

To be assured of participation in the parade, registrations are urged by June 26. Young people who want to be part of the parade are being encouraged to register as soon as possible, and several options are available.

Registrations are being accepted online at oaklawnhospital.org/parade-registration, 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 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. on the day of the event, in front of the Crary Condominiums building, near the National House Inn.  

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 9:40 a.m. the day of the event.

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