The Avon Community Heritage Festival has a decade-long tradition of celebration, including a parade through the streets of town and events all day long at Washington Township Park.
This year a new event will be held on the Thursday evening prior to the usual Saturday activities. The festival kick-off will feature the Avon Marching Black & Gold performing its 2013 show “Statuesque.” The Avon band has won the national marching band championships three times in the past five years and multiple state championships over the past decade.
“The kick-off event is a great way to recognize and thank some of Avon’s heroes,” said Doug Waterfield, chairman of the Heritage Festival Committee. “Teachers of the Year from each of Avon’s schools, the Citizen of the Year, and local veterans will be honored. Local icons are an important part of our heritage. They form an integral part of the fabric of our community.”
Members of the Heritage Festival have long hoped for a way to involve the Avon band in the festival, but the band’s competition schedule has historically made coordination difficult. Organizers hope that this new event will allow the band to be involved in the Heritage Festival on an annual basis.
“The band program and the high school itself are integral parts of the town’s identity and history,” said Jay Webb, director of bands for the school corporation. “But with the rigorous practice and competition schedule that puts Avon in contention for state and national championships each year, it has been tough to find time to participate in the Saturday festival events. This kick-off will be a unique way to bring Heritage Festival and the band together.”
As an added attraction, there will be a hot wings eating competition, featuring local firefighters in a battle to determine which of Avon’s firehouses has the toughest crew.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Avon-Washington Township Fire Department. Organizers are hopeful that firefighters from the department’s early years will also attend.
“If you have a history with the fire department, please consider attending the event. We would love to make you a part of this first annual kick-off,” said John Sparzo, president of Avon Band Together, the group organizing the event. For more information, e-mail Sparzo at AMBGFAN1@gmail.com.
The Heritage Festival Kick-Off Event is 7 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Hendricks Regional Health Stadium at Avon High School. Admission is free.