BY SHERI TRUSTY
The 30th annual Lions Perch Festival kicked off with a parade in downtown Marblehead on Saturday, Aug. 27 as volunteers deep-fried about 500 pounds of delectable Lake Erie yellow perch under the Lions tent at James Park. The event was hosted in conjunction with Shores & Islands Ohio with the volunteer help of Danbury High School students.
Local emergency vehicles, fair royalty floats and classic cars were led by the parade’s Grand Marshal, the Marblehead Lighthouse, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Among the children lining the streets hoping to catch candy thrown from floats were Carlee Pelfrey, 10, Luke Pelfrey, 9, and Rylan Rakosky, 10, all of Marblehead. The Pelfreys’ mother, Jodi Pelfrey, said each kid left the parade with a grocery bag full of candy.
“I got a pocketful and a bag full,” Rylan said.
Carlee said the best part of the parade was the band music, and Rakosky liked spotting people from his school, Danbury Elementary, especially his recess teacher, Mike Ward.
“My recess teacher was there. He’s the best teacher ever,” Rylan said.
Jane Danchisen Pittman, who serves as Marketing Chairman for the Marblehead Peninsula Lions Club, said the parade drew entrants from other towns as well, including Oak Harbor and Sandusky.
“We’re reaching out, so that’s a really great thing,” she said.
At James Park, vendors sold a variety of merchandise, the Salvation Army of Ottawa County gave away free desserts, and the Lions Club sold hundreds of perch dinners to raise money for local charitable causes. In addition to several other projects, the Marblehead Peninsula Lions Club donated two benches to the Marblehead Lighthouse this year in honor of the lighthouse’s 200th anniversary.
“Our motto at the Lions is, ‘We serve,’” Danchisen Pittman said. “All proceeds go to individuals and organizations in need on the peninsula. The Lions Club thanks the community and area Lions Clubs for their generous support, and The Beacon for its support.”