Thousands Attend Worthington Parade

Fire departments, emergency vehicles, bands, and local businesses and non-profit groups all participated in the 2017 Big Firemen’s Parade in Worthington last night.

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington-West Franklin Fire Department held its 71st Annual Big Firemen’s Parade last night as part of its Carnival Week of activities.

Thousands lined the sidewalks as well as capacity crowds on front porches that bordered Main Street in Worthington.

The parade has a long standing history, beginning in 1946 as the Worthington Mushroom Homecoming.

Leona Roofner, who will turn 100 years old on February 12, 2018, was crowned Prom Queen in the May 2017 Senior Citizen Prom in Worthington. She rode last night in the parade.

Local Resident Marcia Long has been involved with the parade for the past 37 years. She commended a co-volunteer for the success of the event.

“Connie Feeney coordinates all of this. She has been doing this for many years and does a fabulous job. She starts way back at the beginning of the year sending out (invitations) to all the different (fire) companies and gets their responses, making sure it is a wonderful parade for us,” Long said.

Carnival Week includes smaller parades throughout the week. On Monday night, there is a Kiddie Parade, followed by the Farmers/Antique Vehicle Parade on Tuesday. The Firemen’s Parade is Thursday night and a Bike (Motorcycle) Parade is held Friday night.

“We had the Farmer’s Parade on Tuesday night and it is growing! It’s unbelievable! It’s amazing the people that turn out,” Long said. “With the price of fuel – what these companies give to us, we are very grateful. We have a lot to be thankful for.”

Parade weather was perfect under the setting sun. Rain held off until the end of the night, allowing those in attendance to enjoy amusement rides as well as every food item from fresh-made donuts to chicken prepared on the open spit.

Tonight, the “Fabulous Gunslingers” will play between 6:30-10PM. On Saturday, There will be a Kid’s Bicycle Race at 11AM. The Carnival will conclude Saturday evening at 10PM.

The Syria Shriners Chanters float featured Shriners singing “This Land is Your Land” during last night’s parade in Worthington. The float was complete with a sound system and electronic piano.