Lucasville – The largest parade in the history of Lucasville highlighted the Bicentennial Festival of the town founded by John Lucas 200 years ago.
More than 70 entries participated, and hundreds of people celebrated their hometown.
“This is just a magnificent area that is beautiful with a rich history,” Ted Strickland said.
Strickland was on hand as the parade’s Hometown Governor. The Lucasville native and Northwest High School graduate was Ohio’s 68th governor from 2007-2011, and he served in the United States House of Representatives for two terms, “It’s a good place to grow up,” he added. “People here tend to be friendly and neighborly and look out for each other.”
Parade organizer and Valley Fire Chief Teri Horton said the Bicentennial Committee worked hard to make sure the town was ready for the big celebration.
“There has been a lot of excitement in the community, and it’s been fun watching everyone get ready,” she said. “We washed down all the streets, and the committee has hung banners everywhere because we love our town.”
Phyllis Harris, the 1969 Lucasville Sesquicentennial Queen first runner up, said she was thrilled to be a part of the festivities.
“We love it here, and we are having a great time,” she said. “This is the best place to live in the world.”
Local radio celebrities also took part in the lengthy parade.
Gina Collinsworth, host of the Community Corner on WNXT 1260 AM, mentioned how much pride people have in the area.
“There is no place I’d rather be than here today,” she said. “We live in the greatest community in the country, and we love to hear about good news, and this is wonderful.”
John Lucas, the town’s namesake and the son of William and Susannah Barnes Lucas, moved from Virginia to what is now Lucasville in 1802.
His brother, Robert, was a hero in the War of 1812, served two terms as Ohio’s governor, and he was the first territorial governor of Iowa.
John was a volunteer and commanded a regiment during the War of 1812.
When his father died, John inherited most of the family’s property in Scioto County and established Lucasville on Aug. 7, 1819. He died in 1825 and is buried in the Lucasville Cemetery.
Legendary western actor Roy Roger grew up nearby, as did Branch Rickey, the major league baseball executive who broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson as the first black athlete to play professional baseball in 1947. Local resident Randy Rucker portrayed Rickey during the parade.
“There is just so much history here in Lucasville,” Strickland added. “I’m honored to come back here once a month, and I’m honored to be a part of this wonderful celebration.”