First up at 9:45 a.m., the Historic Roswell 5K kicks off from Roswell United Methodist Church on Mimosa Boulevard. The course is along Canton Street, left on Woodstock Road and then into Roswell Area Park.
Race day registration fee is $30, $15 for under age 15. After they finish, runners are encouraged to stay in the park for the food and activities at the Youth Day festival following the annual parade. This is the 63rd year for the Francis McGahee Youth Parade, named in honor of one of the founding mothers of the Youth Day event.
This year’s theme is “Hats Off to Roswell.” The procession begins at 10 a.m. from First Baptist Church on Mimosa and winds its way to the park. Roads along the route will be closed to vehicular traffic from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m.
Riding in the parade will be the 2013 youth officials who stood in for council members and city staff at the Sept. 23 council meeting.
Centennial High School senior Axel Martinez got to preside as mayor. Until then, he said, he “honestly had no idea what the mayor of Roswell does besides a few public relations-type things.”
But sitting up there on the dais, Martinez, who will be majoring in law and public policy, said he felt “I was being looked upon as a very significant and influential person.
“I felt very comfortable and ecstatic while running the meeting, as I made a few proclamations and got to see people who have given their time to better the community and hear the reason why they feel passionate on the matter or what they get to do.”
Grand Marshal for the Youth Day parade is Fred Williams, a longtime Roswell resident with a deep history of involvement in recreation and parks issues.
“Fred has selflessly volunteered his time, efforts and service, through the Roswell Recreation Commission, for 24 years, 18 of those years serving as Chairman,” said Recreation and Parks Assistant Director Morgan Rodgers.
“Fred even decided to go above and beyond the call of duty by getting involved in Recreation and Parks with state and national associations. Fred was elected as a citizen member of the board of trustees of the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association in 2005 and continues to sit on the board today,” Rodgers said.
When the parade pulls into the park, the festival begins. It includes entertainment, a petting zoo, giant slide, mini train and an Ironman obstacle course. For as long as supplies last, youths under age 15 will get a free lunch; concessions will be available for adults. Not far away, at 1054 Alpharetta Highway, next to the fire station at Green Street and Ga. Hwy 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. members of Roswell Masonic Lodge 165 will be dishing out old-fashioned barbecued pork and Brunswick stew for charity.
Prices are $8 per plate of pork and stew, and $30 for a gallon of the stew. Both dine in and carry out will be available, and credit cards are accepted.
Proceeds from this 63rd Annual Masonic Lodge BBQ will benefit the lodge’s community outreach.