The Washington Town and Country Fair will kick off with two events this weekend to spark anticipation and excitement for the five-day Fair.
The run/walk will be held this Saturday morning and the parade will hit the streets Sunday evening.
The Fair kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 1, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 5, at the city fairgrounds.
This year’s competitive run and fun walk will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. at the city park.
The event also will include a one-mile kids run for those ages 12 and younger. A parent or guardian must be with the child at check-in.
The route for the five-mile competitive run is new this year.
The fun walk will be two miles. The starting point for both runs and the walk will be the city park pavilion on Veterans Drive at Lions Lake.
Participants can register the morning of the race beginning at 6:15 a.m.
The entry fee is $20 for runners and walkers, and $10 for kids.
The run will get under way first at 7 a.m. followed by the walk and then the kids run at about 8 a.m.
Like last year, Fair queen contestants and members of the Fair board will participate in the events.
Water stations will be set up along the route at Front and Main and the Farmers’ Market.
Awards will be given out for the first-place overall male and female run winners, and the winner of the kids’ run. The top three winners in each age bracket also will receive medals, and all kids who participate will earn medals.
The 19th annual parade will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday. The parade route is the same as last year.
The parade will begin at Circle Drive and High Street, near the city pool. It will travel south on High to Fifth Street; east on Fifth to Jefferson Street; north on Jefferson to Main Street; and west on Main, ending near the Main and Elm parking lot.
It will feature a variety of floats, marching bands, dance groups, Scout and 4-H groups, the Moohlah Shriners, service organizations, churches and schools, antique fire trucks, tractors, and other organizations.
The parade theme is “Making Memories,” which is the same as the Fair theme.
This year’s grand marshals are Ron Unnerstall and Gary Terschluse of Washington Engineering & Architecture — which designed the event facility at the fairgrounds at no charge.
This year’s honorary group in the parade is the St. Louis Green Berets, Special Forces Association Chapter XXVII. The members will ride in military vehicles.
An after-parade party will again be held on the Main and Elm parking lot from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The Steve Leslie Band will perform. Food and drinks will be available at that lot starting at 4 p.m.
Free ice cream will be available to spectators. Mercy Hospital Washington is providing the treat.