(La Porte, IN) - It’s long been billed as the best Fourth of July parades in the state of Indiana.
The LaPorte Jaycees, citing dwindling membership, will not be hosting the event for the first time since the 1940s.
The parade canceled in 2020 by COVID-19 will resume this year, with The Kiwanis Club of LaPorte hosting one of the largest Independence Day parades in the state.
“We were sorry to learn that the Jaycees were unable to be involved this year. But, they’ve definitely set the bar high,” said Drummond Osborn, President of the Kiwanis Club of LaPorte.
This would have been the 75th annual Jaycees parade had it not been for COVID-19 last year and being short-handed this year from the continued decline in membership.
"While this decision was not made lightly, the Jaycees believe that it is time to hand off to keep the event sustainable for the future,” said Ross Ratliff, the LaPorte Jaycees 4th of July Chairman.
Ratliff said hosting such a large-scale event has been increasingly difficult since membership started dropping a decade ago.
He said the Jaycees would continue to host the fireworks celebration scheduled for July 3 at the LaPorte County fairgrounds and the Port-A-Pit Chicken fundraiser on June 26 outside Kablein Ace Hardware at 512 Andrew Ave.
Osborn said the Kiwanis Club of La Porte is honored to take over what he called one of the city’s “longest-standing and most cherished traditions.”
The timing also couldn’t have worked out better, perhaps, for his organization.
“This opportunity couldn’t fit better with our club as we celebrate our 100th anniversary this year,” Osborn said.
Since World War II, the governor on Independence Day has declared LaPorte the state’s ceremonial "Capital for a Day."