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Thursday, June 17, 2021

It's Getting Closer! Update on Fort Thomas Independence Day Parade

The Shriners will be back to help Fort Thomas celebrate in the 2021 Fourth of July Parade to be held on Saturday, July 3. FTM file. 

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by Robin Gee

We’re less than a month away from the Fort Thomas Fourth of July Parade 2021, and the excitement is building! After a year of lockdowns, caution and safety concerns that curtailed our parade last year, it's back. In fact, it’s "The Roaring ‘20s Again," the theme for this year’s celebration.

The parade will actually be held on Saturday, July 3, and it will start at 10:30 a.m.
at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and N. Fort Thomas Avenue near Highlands Methodist Church. Organizers expect about 75 participants and crowds lining the streets to watch along the parade as it winds through the city south along the avenue to Tower Park, ending at N. Fort Thomas and River Road. 

Old favorites roaring back and something new

Expect the return of many favorites including the Military Division that was added during the city’s Sesquicentennial in 2017 and has grown ever since. This year will feature the 202nd Army Band and the Kentucky National Guard along with Fort Thomas Military Reserve Units and special military vehicles – and our veterans. Linda Slone, who organizes the parade with Jim Trauth, said any veterans who’d like to participate can contact her for a seat in the contingent.

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New this year is "Celebrating Fort Thomas Health Care Providers," a division devoted to all in our community who provide health care.

"After the year we have had, we wanted to make sure that we are celebrating the ones who took care of our family and friends when they needed it," said Slone."It will be an on-going division so we can celebrate them every year! Anyone who lives or works in Fort Thomas is invited to walk with Saint Elizabeth and other Health Care Providers in our parade. If you know of anyone, please let me know. We will sign them up!"

The Corvette Club is back and will kick off the beginning of the parade followed by city and school officials. Dancers from area studios will dance through the streets, and area churches will participate again as well. The Shriners, a parade favorite, are also returning for the parade.

The only big change for this year’s parade is the location of the judges. Due to remodeling at the city building, the judges will view the parade from the parking lot at Schone (33 N. Fort Thomas Ave.) that will provide them a good view as the parade passes by. As in previous years, they’ll be looking to award the best entries in different categories.

The Grand Marshalls, just announced, are Bob and Joanne Arnzen, longtime Fort Thomas residents and owners of Old Fort Pub. Slone said she is excited to honor the Arnzens this year. She also has a list of Special Honorees and will make an announcement about them soon. 

Final details unfolding

Slone and Trauth are still taking applications for parade participants. "We sure hope to have just as many participants and parade watchers as ever before if not more. Taking a year off makes me want a bigger and better-than-ever parade!," Slone said.

The organizers are busy putting all the final details in place. "There are way too many people to thank, but I do want to thank the school for allowing us to use part of it for our veterans and dancers to keep them out of the very hot sun and their parking lot to stage some of our floats," she said.

She said special thanks go to "the Fort Thomas Baptist Church for allowing the corvettes to use their parking lot this year, and the Methodist Church for allowing us to use their front steps for our Proclamations and downstairs room. It is a work in progress, but all will be done in time to start the events on time!”

Applications are still open for those who want to participate in the parade. Go to the Fort Thomas city website and click on “2021 Parade Participation Form.”

You can contact Slone at 859-750-9532 or Trauth at 859-992-1884 if you have questions or if you are a veteran or a health care provider who would like to join one of those divisions in the parade.

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