Pioneer will be the place to be this weekend with a one-two punch of events that will provide everything from a parade and live music to a motorcycle run, kids events and capped off with a fireworks display.
The weekend will feature both the Pioneer Days festivities and the sixth annual Kaleb McLaughlin Memorial Ride and Organ Donation Awareness Day.
“Friday is, essentially, Pioneer Days, you know, the old street dance is coming back,” said Davinna Nickloy, one of the organizers of Pioneer Days. “We’ll have Triple Shot playing at 8 o’clock and we’ll have the beer garden. We also have bounce houses for the kids, a water slide down at the park along with kids’ karaoke that’s at 4 o’clock.”
A three-on-three basketball tournament is set for 5 p.m. with prizes paying out for the top three teams, she added.
This will also be the second year that the parade will take place on Friday night.
“We really like the evening parade; it went really well last year,” Nickloy said. “We’re happy to do it again this year ... It’s supposed to be a beautiful night to have the kids out and watch a nice parade.”
The lineup for the parade will be at 6 p.m. at the Kustom Fit parking lot and the procession will travel south to Mill Street.
“We’re going right down State Street,” Nickloy said.
That will lead into Saturday’s event, which will be the Kaleb McLaughlin Memorial Ride.
Kim Oxender organizes the ride and awareness day every year in honor of her son, Kaleb McLaughlin, who died in a drunk driving accident.
The event has grown every year since its inception.
“Last year we had 252 bikes; This year, we’re hoping to have the same amount if not more,” Oxender said. “We just hope more people get to understand how important it is, organ donation, and how it affects every single one of us.”
The Tree of Life — an organization for people who need an organ donation — and the Tree of Hope — an organization for people who have had a donation — will be recognized at the event, she added.
“People can see this is real stuff,” Oxender said.
The bike registration will start at 11 a.m. with a blessing at 12:30 p.m. and kickstands going up at 1 p.m.
In addition, a 5K will begin registration at 7 a.m. with the race starting at 8 a.m. A breakfast will be served at 7 a.m. and a blood drive will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition, there will be a live gun raffle, silent auction, a bicycle giveaway and inflatables, water slide and face painting for kids.
The event will end at sundown with a fireworks display that will be shot off at North Central Local Schools.
“We hope people will come and enjoy their families and learn a little bit about how they can be a hero,” Oxender said.