This year's Time Warner Cable Portsmouth River Days Parade will take place Sept. 1, at 11 a.m., and will begin at Spartan Stadium.
The route will travel up Boundary Street, west on Jackson Avenue, north on Offnere Street, west on Gay Street and then will disband at Tracy Park.
The theme for this year's parade is “River Days Buckeye Style,” and will feature William McKinley - owner of Mc-Kinley Funeral Home in Lucasville - as its grand marshal.
Acceptable parade units and entries include band, drums/bugle corps, pom-pom and drill teams, high school and junior varsity, and pee wee cheerleading units. Other acceptable units include queens' units, floats and unusual or unique units.
According to River Days Committee Member Kim Bauer, River Days is the longest daytime parade in the state of Ohio, with each unit carrying multiple vehicles - though still only counted as one unit.
“When you start adding all of those together, that's the reason that the parade lasts for about two hours and 15 minutes. We have a tremendous amount of units, and every year we have more and more, even from out of the area, wanting to be in the parade,” Bauer said.
Commercial units, as well as current officeholders and candidates, must pay $50 in advance to participate in the parade. Floats must be in the staging area at Spartan Stadium by 9 a.m. on the morning of the parade. Remaining participants must be in the staging area by 10 a.m.
“We're looking for another great River Days, and it looks like the weather is cooperating,” Bauer said.
Bauer said the River Days committee is made up entirely of volunteers who take only a short, two-week break after River Days ends before jumping into plans for the next year.
The annual Portsmouth River Days Parade takes place on the penultimate day of the four-day festival, which begins Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. and concludes with a fireworks display on Sept. 2 at 10 p.m.
Other events planned for this year's festival include performances by The Grass Roots, Ambrosia, Shenandoah and Eddie Money, as well as the 45th annual Miss River Days Queen Pageant.
Bauer offered a personal invitation for all the community to stop by.
“We have the arts and crafts and the vendors. We have some rides for the kids and plenty of entertainment down on the river. So come on out and enjoy everything that everyone has worked so hard to bring to the community,” she said.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, and by e-mail at email@example.com.