Thousands line the streets for this year’s TRF parade

The Three River's Festival parade attracted thousands of people to downtown Fort Wayne Saturday.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) From cheerleaders to classic cars, and even rock bands the Three River’s Festival parade has it all.

More than 50,000 people lined the streets in downtown Fort Wayne Saturday morning to kick off the 47th Three River’s Festival. Kids were sitting on the curbs waiting for high fives and a treat, but it’s about so much more than the candy. Families have been making the parade part of their yearly trips for decades.

“For us it’s a tradition,” Brittney Hoobler said.

For Deb VanGorder it’s even kind of a family reunion with more than 20 people on the sidewalks watching the parade together.

“It’s just a tradition and I just think it’s neat. It’s time for families to get together and we have never missed it,” VanGorder said.

Tira Brown’s family has been watching the floats for more than a decade.

“Every single year for the last 10 to 15 years,” Brown said.

Another tradition is finding your spot along the route. Some families even come out the night before!

“The routine is we come out the night before, we rope it all off, we put our blankets and chairs down then we usually get up about 5:30 and head over here around 6:30 or 7:00,” VanGorder said.

“We start setting up around 8:00 Friday morning,” Brown said.

Marjorie Felger went out Friday night to get her spot, but there were so many chairs she had to settle for the second row.

“Last night was the earliest I have come for many years,” Felger said.

Even from a few rows back, Felger said the view was just as good as being on the curb.

“It’s a beautiful parade and it’s a beautiful day,” Felger said.

For a complete list of events for this year’s festival click here.

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