From Karen Zitomer, the Community Relations Coordinator for the City of Roswell, come details one of the city's longest running traditions:
The 63rd Annual Frances McGahee Youth Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, October 12, beginning at 10 a.m. with the annual parade. This year’s theme is “Hats Off to Roswell.”
The parade will begin at First Baptist Church on Mimosa and end in Roswell Area Park on Woodstock Road.
This year’s Grand Marshall is Fred Williams. Williams taught at Roswell High School from 1967 to 1981 and served as a Roswell Commission member from 1988 to 2012. Williams was elected as a citizen member of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association from 2005 to 2012.
Due in part to his leadership, the Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic & Cultural Affairs Department was accredited by the National Recreation & Parks Department, and was awarded the Georgia Recreation &Parks Dept. Agency of the year five times and a National Gold Metal Finalist.
Youth Day has been a long tradition in Roswell. In 1950, a group of concerned parents decided to sponsor a parade and a day of activities to honor the youth of the city. In 1951, Mayor Ford Rucker proclaimed the second Saturday in October as "Roswell Youth Day," and the tradition has been going strong ever since.
The parents' objective was to raise enough money to build a recreation facility. This all started a continuous line-up of fund-raisers: There were Betty Crocker cake-baking contests, flower sales, spaghetti suppers, and many other events to raise funds.
After the parade, the Youth Day celebration continues with a festival in Roswell Area Park. Kids 15 and under may receive a free lunch (while supplies last), and activities include inflatable slides and moonwalk, pony rides, climbing wall, entertainment and much more.
Immediately before the start of the parade at 9:45 a.m., the Roswell Runners Club will host the 17thAnnual Historic Roswell 5K Road Race. The race starts at the Roswell United Methodist Church and ends at the Roswell Area Park football field. To register, visit http://www.active.com.
If you or your group would like to participate, call the Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic & Cultural Affairs Department at 770-641-3705 for an application or download an application atwww.roswellgov.com .