Although temperatures hovered around the 90 degree mark, there was plenty of enthusiasm when it came time for the Fireworks Festival parade in Gnadenhutten on Saturday.
The event kicked off at 2 p.m., paced by the Indian Valley Marching Braves, as hundreds lined the streets to watch the hour-long procession. Serving as Grand Parade Marshals were June Mathias, 91 and her best friend Thelma Long, 94. Mathias has resided in the village since 1948 and stays active. "I sew and paint, mostly scenery and portraits," she explained. "I also work a lot in the garden. I have flowers and vegetables."
Long says she has lived in Gnadenhutten since 1957.
"I’ve enjoyed walking, reading and sewing throughout the years," she said. "Until February I was walking several miles. June and I used to travel and play cards together and we always worked together to make stuff for the bazaars." Mathias added that they have both been very active in the Methodist Church located in the village, for years. Both said they were honored to be chosen as Grand Parade Marshals.
Festival Organizer Hope Johnson said everything went off without a hitch.
"It’s another beautiful day. God knows we’re putting this on and it’s wonderful. Hot, but wonderful," she said smiling.
Johnson was pleased to see so many kids participating in the festival and the parade. "And a lot of people came out despite the warm weather." More than 100 units participated in the event with Missy Martin, of Tuscarawas, announcing as they passed through the square.
Results for the Tomahawk Trot 5k, which was held on Friday evening, are as follows.
Female overall winners were: 1. Andrea Kissova, 29, 21:39.9; 2. Catherine Slayman, 24, 22:33.8; 3. Bekah Zinkon, 26, 22:33:8.
Male overall winners were: 1. David Ditcher, 33, 18:59.8; 2. Steven Sherer, 37, 19:54.3; 3. Jason Culpepper, 36, 20:59.2.
Division winners were: Female 14-under: Abigail Dennis, 11, 25:38.5; Male 14-under: Parker Quillin, 14, 30:20.9; Female 15-19: Sammy Myers, 16, 26:42.3; Male 15-19: Gavin Reed, 16, 21:46.2; Female 20-29: Brittany Gunther, 29, 25:26.1; Male 20-29: Colin Davis, 28, 22:56.9; Female 30-39: Haley McPeek, 33, 25:41.1; Male 30-39: Wayne Garabrandt, 30, 23:52.2; Female 40-49: Helen Short, 44, 23:59.3; Male 40-49: Greg Homan, 44, 22:00.9; Female 50-59: Sandy Himes, 50, 24:09.2; Male 50-59: Jim Krocker, 57, 27:07.1; Female 60-69: Cheryl Staley, 61, 34:07.1; Male 60-69: Randy Rufener, 61, 21:15.9; Female 70-over: Marie Heavlin, 97, 45:48.5.