Festival parade celebrates "America Strong"

Mindy Carls

With a theme of “We’re Back, America Strong,” the Orion Fall Festival parade on Saturday, Sept. 4, celebrated with bands, floats, horses, and of course tractors.

Deena Johnson, a longtime Fall Festival volunteer best known as parade chairwoman and announcer, served as grand marshal.

Orion High School senior Liz Wilbur sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” when the parade reached the announcers in front of BankORION on Fourth Street.

The combined Orion High School and Orion Middle School bands, directed by drum major Madison Greenwood, played “Seven Nation Army” on Fourth Street.

Cambridge’s junior high and senior high musicians marched in the parade. They performed the “Captain America March.”

Riding on a trailer, the Orion Community Band performed under the baton of Emily Roberts.

Western Township Road Commissioner Lucas Pobanz drove one of the largest entries, the township’s 672 GP road maintainer.

Award winners were:

• Best of Theme — Orion Community Band, founded in 2003 for the village’s sesquicentennial celebration.

Most Impressive Float — Pete and Deb Vandersnick, Orion, who decorated their wheelhorse lawn tractor, Mzzz Mow with a theme of “All Cancers Matter, Race for the Cure.”

Most Impressive Vehicle — Betty Cramm’s 1929 Model A, steered by her son Kurt with Betty in the passenger seat. As a teenager, she drove the car on the farm. She celebrated her 85th birthday on Sept. 3, the day before parade.

Best Horse Entry — Madison Andrae of Lynn Center, riding her quarter horse Willie and leading Daisie, her registered miniature therapy horse, and Daisie’s foal, Wylie.

Best Children’s Entry — TLC Preschool of Orion, serving families for 39 years.

Most Impressive Tractor — Jerry Sandau’s 1943 John Deere B.

Lynn Implement Repair of Lynn Center sponsored the parade.

Flaig and wife in horse drawn phaeton
Orion High School Band
Best Children's Entry  - TLC Preschool