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Parade a long tradition

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This year, America will celebrate its 235th birthday. Hobart has celebrated Independence Day for the past 135 years with a parade and a series of events. 

Bruce Weber from the Hobart Historical Society said his group has a picture of the first parade that took place, celebrating the country’s 100th birthday. The picture shows a band, Our Boys, on a farm wagon being pulled by two horses. The local population followed behind. Main Street was a dirt road.

This year, the Hobart Jaycees started the celebration June 24 with Jaycee Fest, a week of music by various local bands performing in the Strack & VanTil parking lot at 7760 E. 37th Ave. The festival continues nightly through Sunday.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the rugby field will be the scene of the Baby Olympics, followed by a pet parade at 10:30. The field is at 112 E. Old Ridge Road across the street from Festival Park.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, there will be a children’s Fourth of July Parade at the Revelli Band Shell in Festival Park, 111 E. Old Ridge Road.

Monday features the Hobart Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July Parade at 10 a.m. at Mundell Field. It will go south to 3rd Street, east to Main Street, north on Main Street to Old Ridge Road, west to Wisconsin, and south to Mundell Field. There will be about 100 entries in the parade.

I am proud to announce that I will be this year’s parade grand marshal. I am humbled by the honor. I will ride in a vintage convertible driven by Tom Ehrhardt. He agreed to let me ride in his “treasure” only after I promised not to “mess it up.”

At 7 p.m., we will be entertained by the band Take Five at Festival Park. Trophies for the parade entries will be given out at this time, and the drawing for the Jaycee raffle will take place.

Fireworks will start at dusk.

The excitement keeps growing as the opening of the Marie Reiner Senior Center gets closer. It is hoped the center will open in late July or early August. 

Longtime Hobart resident Pam Broadaway has been hired as the director. She has been visiting centers as far away as Rensselaer for ideas.

Ehrhardt, whose hard work has made the center a reality, emphasized that the membership will decide which programs and services will be offered. To date, thanks to the generosity of St. Mary Medical Center, we know there will be a computer lab.

Persons who enjoy playing pool can thank Orville Sutterthwaite for purchasing a pool table. A fitness center will have exercise equipment. Yoga and a low-impact exercise class will be offered.

To date, about 250 people have become members. The fee is $10 per year for Hobart residents and $20 per year for nonresidents. Forms are available in the Hobart Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. The center will be in the old middle school, near Fourth and New streets.

Hobart Elks Lodge 1152 observed Flag Day with an impressive ceremony — the 102nd annual service. The Rusty Pipes Band provided a program of patriotic music. Exalted Ruler Bruce Pillar presented a parade of flags that our country had before finally selecting our current flag.

The Elks have an excellent dining room with a reasonably priced menu. Call 942-1152 for more information.

With the end of the school year, many teachers retire. Two of them are Kenneth and Diana Boyle.

Kenneth taught in many schools during his career. His last was a position at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Diana retired after 42 years, 32 of them as a first-grade teacher at St. Bridget School. 

Many of her students were second- generation families. I can attest to the impact Diana had on her students; she taught four of my six grandchildren. All have fond memories of her. 

Best wishes for a happy retirement. You have earned it.



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