Roann celebrates 100 years of festivals

Amy Joy pulls her dad, Tim, along the parade route on his 1937 John Deere. Photo by Joseph Slacian

By Joseph Slacian

ROANN – Residents from around Wabash and surrounding counties converged on Roann over the weekend as the community celebrated the Roann Covered Bridge Festival.

This year was the 100th anniversary of the event.

A variety of music, contests, rides and vendors drew people downtown from Thursday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 11. The biggest attraction, as usual, was the annual parade on Saturday afternoon.

More than 100 entries made their way from through the town, waving at participants who lined the streets two and three deep. At many spots along the route, parade-goers stood during the 59-minute parade.

Culver Military Academy’s Black Horse Troop led the parade, followed by a variety of emergency vehicles, local businesses, a band, floats, tractors, classic cars and more.

Parade announcers Roderick Schram and Bob Ferguson kept those watching entertained throughout the event, reading the prepared script and often adlibbing other lines.

Schram, who stood near the entrance to the reviewing stand, held a small net, trying to entice those throwing candy to throw some into it. On several occasions he was able to grab the candy from mid-air, piling it up on the nearby table.

“The cooperation of the people in the community is just fabulous,” parade chair Valerie Doud said. “People know that we’re going to be organized about it and that it’s going to be a fun time.”

There are generally about 100 entries in the parade, she said, adding that the 100th anniversary of the festival may have drawn more entries this year.

Overall, she said, organizers are pleased with the success of this year’s festival.

“It’s just been so much fun,” she said.

Rain threatened to dampen things on Friday night.

“There were a couple of sprinkles,” she said. “But people only had to put up with it being a little cool.”

Posted on 2017 Sep 12