With the theme of “Summer’s Hottest Weekend,” this year’s John C. Fremont Days certainly lived up to its billing—in more ways than one.
While John C. Fremont Days festivities officially began on Friday, the arrival of the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit along with a convoy of area first responders marked the unofficial beginning of the annual festival as hundreds of Fremont residents lined Military Avenue to welcome the convoy to town.
The 9/11 exhibit, during its first ever trip to Nebraska, proved to be one of John C. Fremont Days most appealing attractions as free tickets to experience the tour were snagged up in less than an hour following official opening ceremonies on Friday afternoon.
During its time at John C. Fremont Days, the 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit saw endless crowds of people who came to experience what that fateful day in 2001 was like for firefighters and other first responders who were on the ground in New York.
“The passion of the presenters —because they were there—makes it extra special,” Shelley Partridge said. “It gives you that opportunity to just feel a tiny, tiny bit of what it was like.”
Some of the first to tour the exhibit described the experience with a variety of terms: “breathtaking,” “heartbreaking,” and “amazing,” were some of the most common.
And, while many Fremont residents came out for the unofficial start of John C. Fremont Days on Thursday, and stayed for a variety of events throughout the weekend, the biggest crowd of the weekend could be found during the festival’s finale on Sunday—the annual John C. Fremont Days Parade.
Thousands of area residents gathered along Main and 11th Streets to enjoy the annual parade that serves as the unofficial final event of John C. Fremont Days.
The roughly hour and a half long parade featured floats from many area businesses and organizations, as well as local marching bands, clowns, and plenty of classic cars.
While the 2019 John C. Fremont Days Parade featured a few less floats than in 2018—a total of 14 fewer than last year according to Parade Committee Chair Carol Fenske—the annual event still proved to be as popular as ever with parade patrons.
“Our entries were down a little bit from previous years, but we had a really great array of floats,” Fenske said. “Several had some pretty funky music on them and a number of them tried build their theme of the float around the theme of the festival which is always great.”
On Monday, the John C. Fremont Days Board announced winning floats from the 2019 parade. Winners are broken up into four categories including Best Business Entry, Best Religious Entry, Best Historical Entry and Best Overall Entry.
Winners of the 2019 parade include:
- Best Business Entry: Juice Stop
- Best Religious Entry: First United Methodist Church
- Best Historical Entry: Fremont Fire Fighters Historical Society
- Best Overall Entry: Cedar Bluffs Wildcat Marching Band
The winners are chosen by a panel of judges, and floats that most closely adhere to the year’s theme have the best shot at taking home one of the “best” entry honors.
“One of the things they really look for is if the float is built around the theme, but they are from different areas of the community and they all have their different thoughts—but at the end of the day they all have to agree on the winners,” Fenske said.
Fenske, who has served as Parade Committee Chair for the past eight years, said she thought the 2019 parade was one of the top parade’s put on during John C. Fremont Days over the past few years.
“There were tons of people lining the street, the weather wasn’t too terribly hot and there was a nice little breeze,” she said. “It went off perfectly.”