Organizers of the Solanco Fair Parade are trying to encourage more individuals and groups to design and build floats for the annual event.
They hope creating a new award - a grand prize for the best float - will encourge more entries. With that award will come a cash prize of $250. That's the most money presented for any winning entry in the annual fall celebration.
"We're trying to encourage more floats," fair parade committee chairman Jeff Minnich said.
A typical parade has between 130 and 150 units in the line of march. Of those, 20 to 30 are floats. Many of those, however, are not built to reflect the parade's theme.
"We sometimes have trouble coming up with enough floats to fill all the prize spots," Minnich said.
That's why the fair association decided to offer a new prize. "We want more people to put their skills and designs to work for the parade," he said.
The winning float will have to reflect this year's parade theme - One Giant Leap.
The theme was chosen to coincide with the 50th anniversary of man's first moon landing.
"The theme comes from astronaut Neil Armstrong's words as he stepped onto the moon's surface on July 20, 1969," Minnich said. "We want people to show how that event changed our future, including the technology and inventions that came from the space program."
The parade committee began designating themes in 1998.
That doesn't mean committee members and entrants get the same meaning from the theme.
When they came up with Floating to a Safer World, the committee thought their intention was clear - more floats.
What they got was boats.
At least one theme was eerily prescient.
In June of 2001, the committee chose 'We Will Survive'. The parade was held days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and units reflected the patriotic mood of the country.
Packets of information for the 2019 fair parade were emailed to previous entrants this past week.
The deadline to register for this year's parade is August 20. If the parade fills up before that, late entries may not be able to participate.
The parade will be held on Wednesday night, September 18.