Franklin County will continue its 200th birthday party with a countywide parade, daylong festival and the White Rose Car Show set for Sunday, June 2, in Union.
Parade organizers are currently seeking marching bands from area high schools and float entries from organizations and businesses to participate.
“Our goal is to see every community represented in the parade,” said Amanda Day, director of the Union Area Chamber of Commerce and chair of the parade committee.
“This isn’t a Union parade,” stressed Terry Wilson, treasurer of the Bicentennial Committee. “It’s in Union, but it’s a county parade.”
Likewise, organizers are hopeful that people from all around the county will turn out to watch the parade and attend the festival and car show.
“We think we have a lot of fun things planned, and ideally everyone will come to the festival and then walk a block over to watch the parade or the car show and then come back to the festival,” said Day.
Festival on the Square, Car Show
The celebration will begin with a free Festival on the Square from noon to 7 p.m. on the grounds surrounding the historic Franklin County Courthouse.
Around the square there will be a variety of food vendors and also booths where crafters and artisans will be selling handmade items.
Along Main Street at the festival, there will be an area with tables where people can eat and visit.
Live music will include a brass quintet playing from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and the Steve Leslie Band from 4 to 7 p.m.
A Franklin County Wine Trail will bring the six wineries located in Franklin County together in an area where people can purchase or sample a variety of wines.
There also will be a dunking booth where people can pay to nominate someone to be dunked.
“We are offering a buy-in of $25 to put someone of your choice in the dunk booth for 15 minutes,” said Day. “We are then offering a buyout of $50 if your name is chosen and you do not want to be put in the dunking booth.”
Festivalgoers will be able to purchase balls to throw at the dunking booth for $1/ball or $5 for six balls.
Proceeds from the dunking booth will benefit the Franklin County Historical Society.
There also will be a booth with information and maps for the Kites of Franklin County Scavenger Hunt, and bicentennial T-shirts will be for sale.
The festival is being sponsored by the Union Area Chamber of Commerce, the city of Union and the Franklin County Bicentennial Committee.
The White Rose Car Show will be held from noon to 4 p.m., along Washington Avenue down to Main Street, where it will feed into the festival. Car show winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at the Union Fairgrounds (near Park Drive and Memorial Parkway) and follow a nearly 1-mile route that goes along Memorial Parkway, turning right on West Park Street, then right on North Washington and ending at Central Elementary.
Ben Franklin will be the parade grand marshal, and floats or entries are invited to take part in a Ben Franklin Look-Alike contest. There is a place on the registration paperwork to indicate that.
Marching bands from all area high schools are invited to participate in the parade, and color guards from any and all organizations are sought to be part of a flag contingent that will lead off the parade.
“Scouts, Legions, VFWs, Daughters of the American Revolution . . . any group that has an American flag, we want them to be part of this,” said Wilson, noting the color guards and flag bearers will all be walking as a group at the front.
“We want it to be very patriotic,” he said.
Each community in Franklin County is encouraged to register a fire truck or other emergency vehicle in the parade to represent their town.
However service organizations from the various communities are asked to come together for their floats, so that there will be a single Rotary Club float, for example, and not one from each town, said Wilson.
No political floats or entries of any kind will be included in the parade. All local, state and federal politicians who wish to participate will be included on a single float.
The goal is to have as many floats as possible related to the bicentennial and Franklin County’s history as possible, said Wilson. To encourage this, a float contest will award trophies to first-, second- and third-place floats.
The fee to enter a float in the parade is $20 for nonprofit groups and $50 for businesses and municipalities. There is no charge for emergency services, marching bands or color guards, but those groups still need to register so they can be included in the parade lineup, said Day.
“No one can just show up the day of the parade to be included,” she said. “We need to know ahead of time who is participating so we can stage it properly.
“If we can get schools and businesses from everywhere, that would be awesome,” said Day. “We really want everyone to be represented.”
To register a float or entry in the parade, people can go online either to the Union Chamber of Commerce website, www.unionmochamber.org, or the bicentennial website, www.franklinmo200.com (under the Events tab, select Parade).
They also can email Day at email@example.com to receive the forms or call her at 636-583-8979 for more details.
The deadline to register is May 24.