Malden La­bor Day pa­rade open to all who show up

Post-Tribune - - Local - BY JAMES D. WOLF JR. Post-Tri­bune cor­re­spon­dent

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.”

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