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City’s celebration draws large crowds

Members of the Mizpah Shrine Horse Patrol make their way onto the Heritage Days Parade Route.
Photo by Joseph Slacian

Residents turned out in large amounts to celebrate the City of Huntington’s demisemiseptcentennial from June 14-18 during Heritage Days. Large crowds could be found at all events, from the naming of the new chief of the Flint Springs Tribe to the hot air balloon festival and everything in between. “I think the weekend’s been really good,” said Steve Kimmel, Huntington County Chamber of Commerce executive director. “The weather has been perfect. We’ve been totally blessed. “We’ve had record crowds from the ice cream social on Thursday night. The car show Friday night was totally packed. I think we have a record crowd here (at the balloon festival). “We just want to continue to add. We want to add an event here and there. We want to make it the best we can for this community.” One of the highlights of the five-day festival was the annual Heritage Days parade. People lined the parade route, two and three deep at some points, to watch nearly 100 entrants make their way through the city. There was a variety of entries, from your politicians and marching bands, to classic cars, roller-skaters and more. There also were inflatable dinosaurs and cows to live dogs and more making their way through the event. Entrants tossed a variety of goodies to the crowd, ranging from a variety of candy to bottle milk, note pads, rulers, T-shirts and more. Youngsters, with their plastic bags in hand, scooped up the candy just as quickly as it was being tossed out. Two ingenious youngsters placed large golf umbrellas upside down on the street, urging parade entrants to throw candy and other goodies into the umbrellas. Several had American flags as part of their entries, and parade goers stood and saluted each time a flag passed by. “The parade went very well,” Kimmel said. “I think we probably a record crowd in the parade. It was one of the highest amounts of entries into the parade this year. “It’s all relevant to the weather. When the weather is really good, people come out. I think people are hungry to get out and get back together with their friends.” Now that the 2023 Heritage Days festival is just a memory, it won’t be too long before organizers begin eying the 2024 event. “We’ll have our first meeting in October,” Kimmel said. “We kind of have a theme in mind, but we haven’t decided that yet. We’ll probably decide that toward the end of the year.”