Traditional Parade Kicks Off Three Rivers Festival

By Eric Olson
By Maureen Mespell

July 17, 2012 Updated Nov 8, 2013 at 11:05 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- A traditional start to Fort Waynes greatest tradition..the flyover by the 122nd Fighter Wing Blacksnakes and the singing of the National Anthem, this year by the Didier Trio.

The spectacle drew Tim and Ann Baumann all the way from Northern Michigan. The Baumann's say, "The flyover, we love the flyover and the Fire Department, all the community, it's a heartfelt fun feeling great time."

Many of the entrants worked hard at mirroring this years parade theme 'From Fort Wayne To The Stars'. others didn't even need to try.

123 groups and organizations took part this year, from boy and girl scouts to old car clubs..even television stations brought some familiar faces along. And some great baloons this year, a little dicey on this very windy day for the folks pulling them but no accidents reported. and of course, music by some of the areas greatest high school bands, like Snider High Schools Mighty Panther Marching Band.

Pam German says, "They're just exciting I love to hear the music, the drums, my daughter was in marching band in high school so it brings back good memories."

Amy Hoover says, "Growing up as little kids we were in the Fort Wayne Children's Parade for dancing, it just has alot of heritage here and it's neat to have everyone come out today and see it and to be part of it again."

And of course the Three Rivers Festival Parade is the inaugurating event for the entire week long festival and everyone here had something in mind to do once the parade wound down.

Jennifer Voght says, "Get elephant ear at Junk Food Alley and just get the kids out and about enjoy the parade and the Grand Prix..I think the Chalk Walk is going on today."

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