Malden Labor Day parade open to all who show up
VALPARAISO — There’s still time to get your float, vehicle or decorated bicycle into the Malden Labor Day parade.
“We have one of the easiest rules — show up,” Lee Kleist, the parade’s current co-chair and Morgan Township Volunteer Fire Department Treasurer. “If they don’t want to be part of the parade, they should come out and see it.”
The parade begins at noon Monday.
Besides the fire trucks, horses, a calliope, the Batmobile and antique cars, trucks and tractors, there’s plenty of candy.
Kleist said that last year he saw Sheriff David Lain ask officers if they brought candy and told them the one bag each wouldn’t be enough for this parade.
The parade begins at noon and travels south on Indiana 49 from Jake’s Feed & Garden at 326 Indiana 49 to County Road 400S, then north on County Road 150E and back to County Road 325S.
The late Leonard Klauss started the parade 16 years ago as a way to show off Morgan Township’s newest fire equipment.
Labor Day was the holiday that few municipalities acknowledged, so that was the best fit.
It’s changed over the years, Kleist said.
“We don’t have as many kids on bikes,” he said.
They now have high school marching bands and for the last four years, New Hope Missionary Church has held a free cookout and fun fair at Morgan Township High School afterward.
New Hope will be this year’s parade marshal.
Kleist expects a bigger parade than usual this year.
The fire department has gotten calls from people interested in participating, and the parade tends to draw candidates in election years, especially from northern Porter County.
“It’s a good chance for them to meet the people,” Kleist said. “A lot of them don’t know where Malden is.”