Saturday, August 9, 2008

How to Attend the Lowell Indiana Labor Day Parade

The Lowell, Indiana Labor Day Parade is one of the oldest in the Midwest. A beloved tradition since 1919, the parade pays homage days of old with floats honoring the police force, marching bands and an old-fashioned parade float contest. The parade also has the distinction of being one of the largest parades held in a town with a population under 50,000.

Stay around for the competitions. The Lowell, Indiana Labor Day Parade rewards the best marching/walking unit, the best musical float and the best marching high school band, among others. The prize to best motorized entry is one of the highlights of the parade.

Participate in the parade. Many of the local floats post a call for "riders" to join in and ride their floats. The posts are advertised in the local newspapers or on the Internet and include a common meeting point so people can just drop by and join in the fun.

Appreciate the adherence to old traditions. The Lowell Labor Day Parade has not changed much since it's inception. The longest-running parade in Northwest Indiana, the Lowell parade even includes antique cars making their way around the city center, which draws curious looks from locals and visitors alike.

Be prepared for some unconventional entertainment. Along with local schools and emergency response teams, area businesses commonly send out representatives to march in the parade. In past years, these teams have marched to everything from current tunes to bagpipes.

Stick around for the finale. The late-night firework display is well worth sticking around for the whole day.

Attend the annual Harvest of Fun, which traditionally cushions the Labor Day Parade. Starting in late August, the town of Lowell puts on its annual Harvest of Fun, with local crafts and entertainment. Held at the American Legion Grounds, the Harvest of Fun also has a parade designed entirely by children.

Take advantage of the many festivities surrounding the parade, such as unique sales in local shops, restaurant specials and outdoor markets.

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