Plans are taking shape for the city’s 175th Birthday Parade to be held Saturday, May 24, 2014, over Memorial Day weekend.

A parade and picnic are planned for May 24, which is the actual anniversary date.

The parade will feature seven anchor floats, built by local service organizations.

A contest is being held for the float designs.

“We are seeking interested, artistic individuals to give us creative direction for the anchor floats,” said Judy Tobben, parade committee chair.

“The float themes will epitomize what we all love about Washington,” she said.

The concepts/themes are:

• 175 Years of Freedom

• 175 Years of Education

• 175 Years of Industry

• 175 Years of Commerce

• 175 Years of Agriculture

• 175 Years of Family Life

• 175 Years of Volunteerism

To participate in the design contest, people should submit a float sketch that represents one of the themes. Multiple submissions are welcome.

Each entry or sketch should be a minimum of 8 1/2 by 11 inches in design.

The deadline to submit entries is Dec. 31.

The top three designs will receive a cash prize of $300 for first; $200 for second; and $100 for third.

“The selected float designers will be recognized on the floats and on all parade materials,” Tobben said.

The designs will be given to the various service organizations to build, along with seed money for supplies.

Designs my be submitted via email to or mailed to Float Designs, 3921 Mealer Lane, Washington, MO 63090.

Tobben said the hope is to have the anchor floats all built in the same location, similar to what was done for the city’s 150th anniversary parade.

“It was a real community event and a lot of fun for the different organizations to all be under one roof building the floats,” she said.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and will go through Downtown Washington.

Planning also is under way for a communitywide picnic that will immediately follow the parade. The picnic will be held from noon to 7 p.m. in the city park. It will be a family-friendly event with live music, food and other activities.

The following day, Sunday, May 25, 2014, a dedication for the Owens Monument will take place in Krog Memorial Park. Lucinda Owens and her husband are the city founders.

Another anniversary event in 2014 will be an invitational antique vehicle display Sunday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Front Street.

To help kick off the yearlong celebration, a 175th Red, White and Blue Gala is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. A similar event was held during the city’s sesquicentennial celebration.

The gala will be held at the Washington Knights of Columbus Hall, beginning at 6 p.m.

Co-chairs of the 175th anniversary committee are Nadine Feltmann and Joe Schneider. The committee has been meeting for about two years, and several subcommittees have been formed to help with the different activities.

Feltmann said anyone with questions or suggestions on activities for the anniversary celebration can email or check out the group’s facebook page

“We invite everyone to join us as we celebrate 175 years of this wonderful community,” she said.