CENTERBURG — After generally rainy weather last year and sudden severe storms Thursday night, Centerburg’s Heart of Ohio USA Festival cruised through its parade under sunny skies Saturday morning. Parade marshal and Knox County Prosecuting Attorney John C. Thatcher led the parade down Main Street and into Memorial Park, cheered by crowds lining the route.
Also playing a prominent role in the parade was the classic doo-wop group The Reflections. After performing Friday night at the festival, the group remained in town to star as guests in the parade. Also making a return after their starring roles Friday night in the children’s pageant were Little Miss Liberty Julianna Bush and Little Uncle Sammy Blake Johnson.
One of the most fun floats was shared by Dr. Backiewicz of Sunbury and Paul’s Marine of Lewis Center, where a vehicle pulled a boat loaded with people; the boat, in turn, pulled a skating “water skier” who zig-zagged across the road behind the boat.
Fire trucks from throughout the region, restored vintage cars and tractors, and the Centerburg High School and Middle School Bands were all expected guests, but the parade was also notable for the large number of all-terrain vehicles in use, from powerful full-sized machines down to miniatures driven by children. State Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl and Knox County Commissioners Teresa A. Bemiller and Robert Wise attended. Wise was also one of several business owners promoting their companies by participating in the parade.
Activities at the festival continued throughout the day, culminating in a fireworks display.