The Lowell Labor Day Parade began in 1919 when it was organized by the American Legion as a welcome home for World War I veterans, Lowell Town Administrator Susan Peterson said. This year marks the 94th annual parade.
In 2003, the Town of Lowell took over organizing the parade, which salutes the American work ethic and is the longest continuous Labor Day Parade in the state of Indiana, Peterson said. Each year the more than 100 parade entries include the unions, Shriners’ groups, older-model cars, floats, the Mi Ranchito horses, emergency vehicles, the Lions Club, military groups and marching bands.
Peterson said this year’s parade theme is “Dreaming Green,” in keeping with the town's recent designation as the 2013 Green Community for the Lake County Solid Waste District.
The parade route has changed several times throughout the years, growing to 1.7 miles. It begins on the east side of town and travels west on Commercial Avenue concluding at Harding Drive. Start time is 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2. Cash prizes will be awarded including first and second prizes for the best use of recycled materials.
“Labor Day isn’t just about the parade in the Town of Lowell,” Peterson said.
Several days of events are being planned this year. The Labor Day Festival is a collaborative effort by the Town of Lowell and the Chamber of Commerce. It kicks off Friday Aug. 30 and concludes with Monday’s parade. The Lowell Labor Day Festival has a new location this year. It has been moved from its longtime home on the grounds of American Legion Post 101 to the former site of Rieter Automotive, 110 W. Oakley.
The Labor Day Festival offers live entertainment and a variety of family activities including carnival rides for the kids, a kiddie parade on Sunday, a cookie contest, artisans, the Lions Club car show, bands, food vendors and a fireworks display.
The Lowell fireworks show began in 2002 when the town celebrated its Sesquicentennial and the tradition has continued, Peterson said. The town sends out letters in the utility bills asking residents to donate for the fireworks display. Since no taxpayer dollars are used for the fireworks or any of the festivities, the Town relies on donations to fund these events, she said. The fireworks display is Sunday Sept. 1 at dusk.