Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Heritage Days sponsor 2019, Gerdau Huntington

Posted: Friday, March 1, 2019

Huntington’s 56th Heritage Days will be celebrated in Huntington Wednesday, June 19 through Sunday, June 23. The theme for 2019 is “The ’60s: "Yesterday." Gerdau Huntington Facility, 25 Commercial Road, is the official sponsor as named by the Heritage Days Steering Committee.

Gerdau is one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world and the leading producer of long steel in the Americas. Gerdau’s special steel North American division specializes in producing special bar quality (SBQ) steel for the automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural and energy markets. The business offers its customers a wide array of heat treated and value-added processed products. Rich Card is the plant manager of Gerdau’s Huntington Facility and Kendall Mickley is division controller.

The Heritage Days Parade will be held Saturday, June 22 beginning at 10 a.m. The theme can be carried through on parade entries with anything pertaining to the ’60s. In Huntington the ’60s included phenomenal growth. From the $8 million U.S.-24 Bypass, school reorganization in 1964, Huntington North High School opening October 27, 1969, housing developments, the Jefferson Park Mall developed through volunteer efforts (downtown), plans for Riverfork Industrial Park, reservoir system expansion, Norwood Golf Course built, to the first Heritage Days celebration, Huntington was growing into the community we know today.

Nationally, societal change was taking place in the form of Flower Power, the Beatles, hippies, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights protests and man walking on the moon July 20, 1969. Participants in this year’s parade will be asked for a $25 fee per entry. Groups are considered as one entry. This fee along with a certificate of liability insurance must be submitted along with the parade registration form.

Popular music of that time period, including the one that Heritage Days 2019 is named for, include “Yesterday” by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones with “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, the Monkees and “I’m A Believer,” the Ronettes with “Be My Baby” and many more. Cruising continued to be a favorite pastime and local sports tournaments dominated the high school scene.

The official button for Heritage Days 2019 shows the former Jefferson Park Mall which encompassed downtown Huntington. The “mall” was a result of volunteer efforts in the spring and summer of 1969 which created a non-drive through area for shopping and dining. It also included play areas, benches and a fountain. The area has since been reopened to traffic and for the convenience of those wishing to park in the downtown area.

Activities that will be a part of this year’s Heritage Days festivities include the traditional Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe breakfast Thursday morning at the Historic Forks of the Wabash, and the annual Rotary Strawberry Feed on Thursday evening at Heritage Hall. A MetroNet car, truck and motorcycle show will take place on Friday evening in downtown Huntington along with music by The Moon Cats.

A hot air balloon festival will continue through the weekend at various locations. The Disaster Team Car Show will begin at Huntington North at 3 p.m. with children’s activities also a part of the afternoon. The Fun Zone of children’s activities will include bounce houses, free camel and pony rides and a petting zoo, Archery Tag, Hover Ball and more. Food will be available for purchase and DJ Dick Smart will provide the music and announcements. Hot air balloon launches will take place throughout the afternoon and evening followed by a balloon glow at dark. Emergency vehicles along with the Samaritan helicopter will be on hand for tours.

JeFFFest will take place on Sunday evening, June 23, in the center block of downtown completing the Heritage Days festivities.

Poor Jack’s Amusements will once again be the carnival of choice for 2019. Rides and activities will be located in the Cherry Street area from Wednesday, June 19 through Sunday, June 23. Streets involved with the carnival will close on Monday, June 17 at 3 p.m. to allow for set-up.

Heritage Days are coordinated by a Steering Committee of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce. Parade and event forms can be found on the Chamber’s website and are ready to download. For more information contact the Chamber at (260) 356-5300 or visit the website at www.huntingtoncountychamber.com