A group of people that has worked to help the community celebrate Indiana, Brownstown and Jackson County’s 200th birthday will be honored today at the Seymour Oktoberfest.

The Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County along with five of the six fiberglass bison art projects and most of the torchbearers will serve as the grand marshals of the annual Oktoberfest parade.

LaWanda Tidd, chairwoman of the parade, said the committee deserves special recognition for all of its efforts to make the county stand out this year.

Story continues below gallery

“We were excited about all of he work they have done to celebrate our state’s bicentennial and our county’s bicentennial,” she said. “It’s 200 years in the making and only comes once in a lifetime.”

Those serving on the committee are Cliff Sommers, Raymond Bachmann, Carl Shake, Chris Sommers, Arann Banks, Dan Davis, Debbie Green, Sean Hildreth and Sally Lawson.

“If you’re from Seymour, getting to be in the parade is huge,” Banks said. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve gone to the Oktoberfest, and once it’s over, I always look forward to the next year.”

Banks said it was a real honor for the committee to be chosen to lead the parade.

“It’s a great group of people, and we are all volunteers,” she said. “It’s been a big commitment planning and organizing everything, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the Oktoberfest, too.”

The parade is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. today with staging at 11 a.m. along Community Drive in front of Seymour High School. All entries had to be preregistered, and no late entries will be allowed due to the time it takes to get the parade organized.

Billed as one of the largest parades in southern Indiana, there are close to 100 entries this year, including high school marching bands, dance and gymnastics teams, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, floats, antique vehicles, local businesses, churches, horse groups, emergency response vehicles, local and state politicians and more.

“We have a little bit of everything and a few new entries,” Tidd said.

One new performance unit will be a BMX bike group from Indianapolis.

This year’s main sponsor of the parade is SMX Staff Management.

The parade attracts thousands of people who line the route, which includes Second Street, Walnut Street and Fifth Street.

Parade trophies will be announced and presented at 5 p.m. on the North Stage at Third and Chestnut streets after the free These Fine Gentlemen concert and before the annual brat eating contest.

Tidd said her favorite part of the parade is getting to see and hear the marching bands, especially the Seymour High School Marching Owls.

If you go

What: Seymour Oktoberfest parade

When: 1:30 p.m. today

Where: Starts on Community Drive in front of Seymour High School, goes east on Second Street, then north on Walnut Street and west on Fifth Street back to Community Drive

This year’s grand marshal is the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County along with the fiberglass bison art projects and torchbearers.

January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.