In the days leading up to today's 44th annual Lutheran Health Network Three Rivers Festival Parade, several Fort Wayne company and agency workers have been busy hammering, sewing and decorating.
This year's parade for the festival, sponsored by Fort Wayne Newspapers, has the theme Community Landmarks and Legends featuring floats and drags that represent Fort Wayne locations. Lance Cpl. Brandon Long of Fort Wayne, who was wounded in Afghanistan, was scheduled as the grand marshal.
The parade's 2-mile course runs through West Central Neighborhood and downtown, ending at Calhoun and Superior Streets. The festival website says the festivities typically finish just before noon.
One hundred seventy-four units were scheduled to participate in the parade this year including IPFW's mastodon float and Sharon's Victorian House of Gifts' safari train symbolizing the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Owner Sharon Scrogham was busy ahead of the parade gluing eyelashes onto a papier-mache giraffe. Meanwhile, her helpers were building a replica train on the float.
Elsewhere, several people with PNC worked on a bringing a little Christmas spirit to their parade display: a replica of Wolf & Dessauer's Santa and reindeer light display that now goes up each winter on the outside of the PNC bank building at Main and Calhoun streets.
TFR Executive Director Jack Hammer said the parade lineup would begin with emergency first responders, Fort Wayne Police Department officers, American Legion Riders of Post 409 and Long, among others.