"We started it as a way to give back to kids in the community because that's what Kiwanis is focused on -- children," said Cady Schulman, coordinator for the Kiddie Day Parade, referring to the 22-member club also awarding four annual scholarships through the Etowah Scholarship Foundation and organizing a pizza party every month at Flowering Branch children's shelter. "I think it's lasted this long because the kids love it.
"They come out and they're so excited. They love showing off their costumes. It's just a fun, exciting day for them."
Starting at 10 a.m., the procession will travel from Regions Bank at the intersection of Bartow and Main streets down Main Street, then it will turn left on Tennessee Street, left on Cherokee Avenue and end at the City Hall parking lot. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the judging of costumes will commence at 9:30 a.m. The parade will not require an admission fee or pre-registration.
With the offering starting in the 1950s, local Kiwanis Club President Ennis Denham is delighted that the annual event has become a family tradition for many in the community.
"We actually have second- and third-generation participants," he said. "This is our 55th year and I even had a lady call me yesterday already inquiring when it was. Her children are in it so they're second generation but we do have a lot of folks whose grandchildren are now in the Kiddie Day Parade.
"We started it back in 1955, which was just a couple of years after our club had been chartered and started. A couple of our members had gone somewhere else and seen a similar event. It just has gone over so well we keep doing it year after year. It's always done on the third Saturday in September. So people have come to expect it to take place on that day and folks start looking toward September for the Kiddie Day Parade."
For more information about the parade, call Schulman at 678-315-3746.