(MITCHELL) - The Theme for the 65th annual Persimmon Festival is "Serve and Protect," and the parade Saturday will honor two grand marshals - firefighters Larry Caudell and Jimmie Zeeks.
Caudell and Zeeks were chosen to represent the sacrifices firefighters make in the line-of-duty and the services they provide the public, according to Larry Hardman, chairman of the annual festival.
Zeeks was serving as the fire chief of Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department when he collapsed of a heart attack at the scene of a car crash on August 15, 2009. He died a short time later. His widow Myra, will represent him in the parade.
Caudell served 32 years with the Mitchell Fire Department, 22 years as chief. He retired from the department in 2006.
The parade committee picked these men to serve as grand marshals because of their devotion to the community.
Firefighters are like a big family. This is a way to thank them for their devotion, Hardman said.
Hardman would like to see all area fire departments participate in the parade.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m., rain of shine Saturday. The parade will form at Lehigh Field, move West on Main Street to Seventh Street, then North on Warren, West to Eight and ends at Mitchell High School.
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