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Parade, festival part of weekend’s events

September 12, 2018

Norfolk will be bustling with activity on Sept. 22.

Not only will that Saturday include the Oktoberfest Family Festival, but the day will kick off with the 39th annual Norfolk Lions Club Parade at 10 a.m.

The theme to this year’s parade is “Harvest of Colors,” with Jeff Braithwait named as the grand marshal.

“He’s a longtime member and is one of those guys who’s ... not in front of the club but does a lot of things behind the club,” said Tom Otto, Lions Club president. “He’s one of those guys you can count on. ... He’s the first to step up to do something.”

An estimated 122 floats, including numerous marching bands, are expected to participate in this year’s parade.

Entries will be judged on best use of theme, most unusual and best overall appeal. Plaques will be awarded in each category for first, second and third places. The awards will be announced during the Riverpoint Arts Festival.

The parade route will start on Fourth Street and Elm Avenue, head south on Fourth Street to Madison Avenue, where it’ll continue west to Fifth Street and then north to Walnut Avenue.

Also starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, is the artist market at the Norfolk Arts Center, which is part of the Riverpoint Arts Festival.

Amy Okamoto, program assistant for the arts center, said several artists would be on hand to sell their items, including jewelry, paintings and pottery.

“So, people who are walking to the parade will be able to start browsing,” Okamoto said.

Immediately following the parade, the Riverpoint Arts Festival will continue with the children’s festival until 3 p.m., Okamoto said. This is the third year the festival has been at the arts center, said Denice Hansen, the center’s director.

“It’s convenient and nice for people to go the parade and literally turn around and come here,” Hansen said.

The clowns are the largest draw to the festival, Okamoto said. Members of Carson’s Cow Tipping Clown Alley will be entertaining children with magic, balloons, glitter tattoos and more.

“The other really popular event is that every child who comes in gets a pumpkin and they get to decorate that here,” Okamoto said.

Both activities require a $5 wristband. Proceeds from the wristbands will go back to the arts center’s educational fund.

Other activities include a make-and-take crafts station where children can create slime, as well as masks. There also will be games, bubbles, chalk paint and a painting wall to mark the arts center’s 40th birthday.

“We’re going to do some string art; make a piece that we can display throughout the year,” Okamoto said.

The Norfolk Public Library also will have its some of the equipment from its new creator space at the festival, where the public can make buttons.

“It’s going to be little something for everyone, family friendly. Young to old can come,” Okamoto said. “It’s not just for the kids now, it’s for everybody.”

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