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WJBD - Local News - Great Crowds, Great Floats at 2012 Little Egypt Festival

The large U.S. Flag carried by Centralia Elk's Club

Shamrock 4H Float Wins Grand Marshall's Trophy

Great Crowds, Great Floats at 2012 Little Egypt Festival

By Garrett Ford

The 41st Annual Little Egypt Festival and Parade wrapped up Saturday afternoon in Salem. Spectators lined Main Street and Broadway in Salem waiting for glimpses of the fire trucks, floats and bands that would make up the parade. Grand Marshall Stephanie Arndt says she was surprised when she was asked to lead the parade.  "Once I reflected and thought about the other service members, that was the tipping point for me.  I thought this was a chance for me to stand up for them since maybe they can't be here but they want to be.  That's why it was really important.  It's such an honor," Arndt said.

As Grand Marshall, Arndt had the privilege of awarding one of the floats. She selected the Omega Shamrocks 4-H Club as the Grand Marshall's Choice winners. Jeff Littrell with the Shamrocks 4-H Club says they called their float "To the Moon and Back." Littrell says they wanted to honor some 4-H heroes.  "We did some research and found out that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were former 4-H members.  We try to incorporate 4-H any time we do a float.  We've got a rocket made and a space capsule," Littrell said.

The Omega Shamrocks were additionally awarded first place in the youth category. Girl Scouts Troop 8588 took second in youth. St. Theresa's Grade School took first in the schools division followed by SCHS Cheer & Football. In the Civic category, the Elks Lodge were named the winners. The Salem Shrine Club took second place. Headliners Hear Design were the second place finishers from the small business division. Marion County Savings Bank took first place. Marion County Savings Bank was also honored by Salem Mayor John Raymer with the Mayor's Trophy. Bank Vice President Stacy Flota says the theme of their float was Caring is Heroic.'  "On the side of our float, it says 'Shooting Stars for our Caring Community.'  We're celebrating people that care today and we're saying that caring is a very heroic thing to do,"  Flota said.

Other winners in the parade included Powerhouse Athletics which took first place in the Baton/Dance division followed by Studio 50 in second. Grace Church of the Nazarene's float won the church division with Pleasant Grove Baptist in second place. In the other category, Suicide Awareness was awarded the top honors followed by a group of World War II reenactors.


The Breese Marching Bobcat Band took first place in the Junior High Band Division. The Bobcats also had the Best Auxiliary Unit. They were followed in the Junior High Division by the Centralia Junior High Band. For Junior/Senior High Schools, the first place trophy went to the South Central Middle/High School Band with the Sandoval Blackhawk Band taking second. South Central was also awarded the Best Drum Line.

Click here for a photo gallery of additional Little Egypt Festival Parades.  We'll be adding more photo of the Festival so make sure to check back. 

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