Spectators galore attend the 74th Mitchell Persimmon Festival Parade

MITCHELL – A huge crowd attended the 74th MItchell Persimmon Festival Parade on Saturday.

There were 101 units in this year’s parade.

The parade entries included old fire engines and cars that ranged from the past to present. The automobiles took the spectators back in time to reminisce of rides of yesteryear.

The MHS football team carried the American Flag as a tribute and symbol our freedom.

The grand marshals for this year’s parade were Matt and Jean Sowders. Matt and Jean Sowders met while attending Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. Matt grew up in Mitchell and decided to move back to Mitchell 14 years ago. Both wanted their two daughters to grow up in Lawrence County, their daughters include Emma 17, and Anna 15.

Matt is a teacher at Mitchell High School teaching PE, Health, Government, and coaches girls basketball at Shoals and Mitchell High School. Matt also he spent two years as an assistant baseball coach. Matt currently coaches the MHS Boys and Girls Golf Coach.

He serves his community as president of the Mitchell Community Library, board member of the Mitchell Community Schools Dollars for Scholars and serves his church in various leadership roles.

Jean enjoys staying home with her children and leads the children’s ministry at their church. She previously owned Sowders Creations until she started teaching at Little Lights Preschool. She has also taught at St. Vincent De Paul in Bedford which led her to teach art at the Mitchell Junior High School. She has since moved on to her current role as the Project Lead The Way instructional coach and Novus Innovation Lab lead teacher.

She is an active member of the Mitchell Gamma Epsilon chapter of Tri Kappa. She has coached Junior High Cross Country and Track. Jean was last hired to lead the Mitchell High School Cross Country Teams.

2021 Persimmon Festival Parade Grand Marshal Matt and Jean Sowders

The local La Or Ma Shrine Club along with Shriners from Indianapolis entertain the crowds. Peyton Leonard, 5, of Mitchell stood and watched the parade near the grandstands on Saturday afternoon, waving as the various floats came by.

Peyton Leonard, Mitchell watches the parade on Saturday

Some of the entries included Zuper Stars which were contestants on the “America’s Got Talent” show, Dueling Piano player, and Michigan City Soul Stepper’s Drill Team.

1948 Allis Chambers owned by Connie Gilliatt Holland

Many were ready for the parade to come back after last year’s pandemic forced the cancellation of the annual event.

“It’s just a good day to enjoy the parade, “Carol Chambers Co-Chairman of 2021 Persimmon Festival.

WBIW has provided a few sights and sounds of this year’s parade.

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