New parade route among several changes for Old Threshers Reunion
MT. PLEASANT — Midwest Old Threshers Reunion has a lot of changes going on this year, and Terry McWilliams, Old Threshers public relations and Marketing director, is excited for the benefits the changes could bring to the Reunion, set for Aug. 29-Sept. 2.
There is a new parade route this year, new restroom facilities at the log village, a new location for the trading post and a change to the M1 parking area, according to McWilliams.
Changes were made to the Harvest Parade (which was Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 3:30 p.m.) route to showcase the new construction that was completed on Washington Street. The parade will begin as usual on Walnut Street and then proceed west on Washington Street to Jefferson Street. The parade will turn south on Jefferson Street, travel one block and then turn east on Clay Street. Formerly the parade traveled west on Madison Street to Jefferson Street and then westward on Monroe Street.
“This will be a much safer approach,” said McWilliams. “There will be no parked cars, everyone will be able to see. The big question is if I am bringing back candy. We took it out a few years ago because of safety. We had some really close calls. Kids were running out between parked cars on the old parade route. I haven’t said that I am bringing candy back this year, because I am hoping the parade goes well.”
If the parade goes as well as he has planned, McWilliams looks forward to candy returning to the parade as early as next year with the new parade route.
One of the changes many people will be excited to see is the new facility at the Log Village.
“The new facility in the Log Village is actually a restroom and shower facility,” said McWilliams. “In the past there has always just been porta-potties there. This is an improvement down there. Visitors and the Explorer post down there will have a new facility down there. It looks just like the other facilities so it won’t stand out. People aren’t going to notice it until they need it.“
The Trading Post will have a new location this year at the reunion.
“Trading Post will now be south of our loading docks,” said McWilliams. “It is a bigger area. We have expanded it, bigger tents. So we are excited about the expansion of that for something new this year.
“The M1 parking lot is no longer.” continued McWilliams. “It was the parking lot between our carousel and our grounds. We have taken that parking lot away because that was where part of the trading post is as well as bringing in some more vendors.
To replace the loss of parking space from the M1 parking lot, cars can now use the Mt. Pleasant High School parking lot and take a shuttle over to the grounds. The west parking lot and the parking lot by the Presbyterian Church are still available, according to McWilliams. The shuttle will run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each night of the reunion.
With all of the changes happening this year, McWilliams is looking forward to people experiencing what the reunion has to offer.
“I feel like Old Threshers has got to be the best entertainment value around. It has to be affordable for folks. To me that is one of the biggest things I want people to realize. You get everything from the north to the south and in between, and if you are here on a country music night, you get that entertainment as well,” said McWilliams.