Entrants in the 2022 Solanco Fair parade are being asked to follow this year's theme, a salute to our real-life super heroes.
"They are the people who work to make our country great," said Jeff Minnich, chairman of the fair's parade committee. "Obviously, they are the emergency medical personnel, doctors, nurses, police officers, and firefighters. But they also include people we don't always think of - dock workers, truck drivers, store clerks and more. Sometimes we overlook those heroes."
The theme is one of several the parade committee considered, Minnich said last week.
"We had three we looked at and then we talked to Mark Phillips [a retired art teacher and longtime parade judge] because he had asked to have input [on the choice of a theme]," Minnich said.
Every since 1998, organizers have given Solanco Fair Parade participants a theme.
Sometimes, the theme seems eerily prescient. In June of 2001, the parade committee chose We Will Survive as the theme for the parade that would be held four months later, just days after terrorists attacked the United States.
Other times, the theme means one thing to the parade committee and something entirely different to the participants.
That's what happened the first year the parade had a theme.
"We chose Floating to a Safer World," Minnich said. While the committee thought it was clear they wanted more floats in the parade, what they got was boats.
"It's odd how these things happen," he said.
Following the theme earns entrants points in the annual competitions. "Relevance to the theme accounts for 20 percent of the points," Minnich said.
Invitations and registration forms were emailed to nearly 400 previous entrants on June 18. In 2021, there were 142 entries. "It's usually around that number," Minnich said.
Anyone who did not get this information and is interested in participating should go to the fair's website, solancofair.com and follow the links to parade information.
There they will also find additional information about the parade, entry forms, its route, and attendant street closures on the fair's website.
"This year, we will also have the times when local streets will close," the chairman said. The first to shut down, Park Ave. from Robert Fulton Highway (Rt. 222) to S. Hess St., will close early in the afternoon of Wednesday, September 14, to allow parade units to begin lining up. Others, including S. Hess St., Fourth St., and State St., will close shortly before the parade's 6 p.m. starting time. The information also includes posted detours to get drivers around the closed streets.
The parade will follow the traditional route - Park Ave. to S. Hess St., then onto Fourth St., following it to State St. The parade will then turn onto E. State St., follow State St. to S. Lime St., turn right again, and end at the fairgrounds.
If it rains, the street parade will be held on Thursday evening, September 15.