Franklin County Courthouse

Plans for the parade and daylong festival to celebrate Franklin County’s Bicentennial Sunday, June 2, in Union are moving forward.

Amanda Day, director of the Union Area Chamber of Commerce and chair of the parade committee, said at last check there were 22 entries in the parade, including antique fire trucks, tractors and the oversized piggy bank float from Bank of Washington.

The goal is to have entries from every community in the county, and organizers are reaching out to high school marching bands, organizations and businesses to encourage them to participate. The committee also is seeking local color guards to be part of a flag contingent that will lead the parade.

The deadline to enter a float or to sign up to be a vendor at the Festival on the Square is Friday, May 24.

“My hope for the parade is to bring people’s attention to the celebration of Franklin County, with the festival being an afternoon to appreciate what Franklin County has to offer . . . food, music, arts/crafts and family fun,” said Day.

Festival, 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.

Food vendors will offer a variety of fare, including barbecue, Big Boy’s Subs, shaved ice and kettle corn. There also will be booths where crafters and artisans will be selling handmade items. There are 15 confirmed craft vendors, said Day. 

Vendors who would like to participate can find an application online at www.franklinmo200.com or email Day at director@unionmochamber.org.

A Franklin County Wine Trail will bring wineries located in Franklin County together in an area where people can purchase or sample a variety of wines. So far confirmed wineries include Triple 3 Vineyards and Mc-Kelvey Vineyards. 

Along Main Street, 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.

There also will be a dunking booth from 4 to 7 p.m. 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. 

Parade

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. 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. 

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. 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. 

To register, 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 director@unionmochamber.org to receive the forms or call her at 636-583-8979 for more details.