MIDDLETOWN — Families lined Locust Street Tuesday evening with their blankets and lawn chairs, anticipating the start of the annual Lions Club Parade.
"This is where we sit every year, we aren't moving," a woman yelled across the street to her friend.
Saying this parade is a tradition is a bit of an understatement for some families in attendance.
Barbara Tiench and her family have been coming to the parade for as long as she can remember. This year, the newest member of her family was able to attend.
"My great-granddaughter is here with us this year and because this is a small town, it's normally a family event," Tiench said.
Tractors, trucks and Shriners go-karts filled the street as the parade started. As the floats passed by, members of the local Lions Club sat in a nearby gazebo, judging the best entries. According to parade officials, there are between 90 and 100 entries each year from people of all ages.
Along with the parade comes the Lions Club parade queen. The queen is inducted into the club for a year and must be a junior or senior and Shenandoah High School. Last year's queen, Anna Fisher, will keep her title until 7:45 p.m. Saturday when the 2016 queen is announced.
The parade is also paired with a fair and this year are a few new attractions for families, including the ride "Fire Ball," which operates as a circular roller coaster.
"There are six new rides this year which is major," said Sherrie Sturgeon, who has been coming to the fair for about 36 years.
At 10 p.m. Thursday, a fireworks display will take place.
Poor Jack Amusements is set up in Dietrich Park until Saturday night. There are rides, carnival games and lots of food for everyone to enjoy.
Parade Float Winners
Best Clowns — The Reddings' Family Fun on a tractor train
Most Unusual — Lions Club members Rob Hayes and Bill Hoyt on trikes
Best Float — Garfield restaurant
Favorite Vehicle — Brad Steward and his raging red 1957 Chevrolet
Best Animal Entry — Coomer Farms
Best Tractor — Logan Marshal and his 1953 Ford Jubilee
Best Marching — Marine Corp Junior ROTC
Chairman's Award- Suicide Prevention in honor of former Shenandoah student Levi Black.