Keene City Manager Bill Guinn and representatives of Keene's oldest businesses will lead the 27th annual Keene Fourth of July Parade at 9 a.m. Monday, July 4, along Old Betsy Road.
Following the parade, entertainment, games and food will be available from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium.
The parade route begins on Campus Drive and East Oakdale behind Leiske-Pultar. Registration and staging for all vehicles and animal entries will be there beginning at 7 a.m. on Campus Drive. Entries must be registered by 7:30 a.m. to be judged.
Entry fee is $10 per entry regardless if the registrant is to be judged. Registrants who do not wish to be judged can enter at the time they arrive for the parade.
Sheriff Bob Alford and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office mounted color guard will lead the parade.
Guinn began his career with the city in 2007 and was named city manager in 2011. His last day on the job is June 30 after announcing in April his intention to retire. Representatives of the oldest businesses are Roger Ackermann of Ackermann Plumbing, Jere Putnam of Putnam Services, Amy Lingo of First State Bank, now Pinnacle Bank, and Mickey Johnson of Texas Adventist Book Center.
The parade will proceed north on Campus to Oakdale, make a hairpin turn heading south on Old Betsy Road to Hillcrest, west on Hillcrest to Oakwood, south on Oakwood to Fourth Street, east on Fourth to Old Betsy, and north on Old Betsy to Campus where it started.
A special viewing area for veterans will be located along Old Betsy Road in front of Pinnacle Bank. Veterans are welcome to park at the bank and view the parade under the shade of tents. Water will be provided.
Judging will take place from 7:30-8:30 a.m. First place will be awarded in these categories for adults and youth: Best All-Terrain Vehicle, Best Decorated 4-Wheel Vehicle, Best Decorated 2-Wheel Vehicle, Best Decorated Antique Vehicle (no youth), Best Overall, Best Decorated Animal Entry (non-equestrian), Best Animal Entry, Best Business Entry (no youth) and Best Children's Entry.
Awards will be presented at the conclusion of the judging. Winners will also be announced at the Celebration activities at Leiske-Pultar.
Parade entrants not wishing to be judged should show up before 9 a.m. on Campus Drive.
After the parade, at about 10 a.m., James Winegardner will serve as emcee for the entertainment and activities, beginning with the posting of the colors and the singing of the national anthem by Jennifer Rameriz.
There will be continuous door prizes, face painting, and a dessert auction that includes by-the-slice availability.
Food outside Leiske-Pultar includes hot dogs, veggie burgers, nachos, drinks, international dishes from a variety of cultures and snow cones. The entertainment is free, but face painting and rides will require a purchased ticket, as does the food.
All proceeds from the Celebration go toward building a pavilion at Elisa Carver Park.
Members of the Celebration Planning Committee are Arcela Borland, Melba Bower, Nick Chesney, Paul Cogdell, Lillian Davis, Melissa and Matt Gillin, Janet Goodman, Donny Gore, Beverly Hamilton, Debbie and Dale Hainey, Gary Heinrich, Keesha Lay, Sarah Layton, Bugger Putnam, Roy Robinson, Cheryl Schram and Joyce Shaw.