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color guard in Swamp Fox ParadeThe 30thAnnual Swamp Fox Festival is quickly approaching. The festivities will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28 throughout Marion. The festival serves as a celebration of Marion’s heritage and an opportunity for our citizens to gather, celebrate and enjoy many activities.  

Saturday, Sept. 28
Staging: 7:30-9 a.m.
Parade: 9:30 a.m.

“30 & Thriving”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the festival. As you pull your entries together, consider traveling back in time and accentuating the super cool trends of 30 years ago or showcasing the ways your group/organization thriving.

Cash prizes will be awarded in four categories: best representation of year's theme, best entertainment/performance, best vehicle and best animal.

Floats have been some of the most popular entrees of the parade in years past and we strongly encourage floats that fit with the theme. Keep in mind the parade is part of a family festival and entries should be appropriate for all ages.

The number of parade entries will be limited to 150.  Entrees will be awarded on a first come–first served basis. Entry fee will remain at $25. Non-profits will continue to enjoy free participation as has been our tradition.

Parade registration is now open and will close about two weeks prior to the parade on Friday, Sept. 13. Paper entry forms are available at the Parks & Recreation offices at Lowe Park and Thomas Park and Marion City Hall. No day-of registrations will be accepted.

Parade Registration Form

You will receive a map and staging location by mail approximately one week prior to the parade. A numbered location on your staging map will mark your position along the parade route. Location signs will also mark your place along the parade route staging area. Parade staging personnel will be available to assist.

Please allow enough time to get to your staging location. Staging takes place from 7:30-9 a.m. The parade starts promptly at 9:30 a.m. If you are unable to get to that location by 9 a.m., we may not be able to guarantee you your assigned spot and staging personnel may have to place you in a different spot in the parade.

The parade committee, based on the information provided on your registration form, will determine your position in the parade. Some positions will be assigned to sponsors and dignitaries.

Late and walk-in registrations will not be accepted. If you have questions, please call the Marion Parks & Recreation Office at Lowe Park, 319-447-3590.

To make this a safe and pleasant experience, please adhere to the following rules:

  • You must hold a valid driver’s license to drive an entry in the parade.
  • Handing out candy along the parade route is encouraged. Please DO NOT throw candy from your float or vehicle while participating in the parade. The danger of children running among the floats to retrieve the candy is too great!
  • Please NO squirt guns.
  • The parade will go on RAIN or SHINE. Please expect delays with bad weather.

The start of the parade is at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 15th Street. A majority of the staging remains near Marion High School. Participants will travel north on 15th Street and then turn west on 6th Avenue (through the roundabout) and continue to 9th Street. We request that participants turn in either direction on 9th Street to pull over and unload floats.

We are always looking for volunteers who are willing to help direct traffic and keep entries moving on parade day. If you are interested in helping, please call the Lowe Park office at 319-447-3590.

Other questions can be directed to Swamp Fox Festival committee chair, Patty Wise at 319-558-9482.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Marion's Swamp Fox Festival.