Kettering once again turns out to celebrate the holiday at home

Far Hills Avenue parade caps Labor Day weekend of summer-ending fun

KETTERING — In Kettering, there’s nothing quite like a holiday at home.

Monday’s “Holiday at Home” parade, the crowning event of the city’s weekend-long, summer-ending Labor Day tradition, proved it once again.

Erin Luehrs is a Centerville resident and former Kettering resident. She knew exactly where to go on Labor Day.

“I think it’s the sense of community and belonging and getting to see everybody get together,” she said. “It’s nice.”

As an Antioch Shriner, Sidney resident William Stamm has been in this parade more than once. On Monday, he was driving a Cadillac De Ville convertible, decked in Shriner regalia.

“I think they enjoy seeing the old cars in the Shriner parades,” Stamm said. “I get a big kick out of it. I enjoy looking at the people and waving at them.”

The three-day Kettering festival, celebrating its 64th year, had 127 participants signed up for the morning parade, surpassing last year’s count by 12, organizers said before the event.

Credit Kettering Fairmont High School biology teacher Steve Cotrone and his team with creating a float that turned a thousand heads, raised a thousand phone cameras and inspired more than a few rounds of applause — a 51-foot-long replica of the starship USS Enterprise, from Star Trek, made out of (mostly) waterproof recycled plastic.

“I started it in my backyard in July of ‘21,” Cotrone said of the 21-foot-wide, 13-foot-tall replica of the original Enterprise NC-1701. “This is its first parade. It had one snow collapse last February when we had that wet, heavy snow. But then the last week, we’ve had more help. My family, and several teachers and friends have helped me.”

Starting just before 10 a.m., the parade began its northbound march on Far Hills Avenue to just south of Dorothy Lane, featuring Grand Marshal Jamie Jarosik, a Kettering resident and WDTN meteorologist, and dozens of other vehicles, colorful floats, school marching bands and much more.

Participants are painstakingly staged so that units from three directions — from Far Hills south of Stroop Road, and from eastbound and westbound Stroop — feed a slow-moving northbound flow on Far Hills toward Dorothy.

Sunday and Monday’s arts and crafts festival sprouted up around Fraze Pavilion and the city of Kettering offices as it does each year on Labor Day weekend, offering a children’s zone, auto shows, food and drinks trucks and tents, as well as music on and near Lincoln Park Civic Commons and at the gates of the pavilion itself.

Arts and crafts, with the children’s zone near Christ United Methodist Church off Lincoln Park, continue until 6 p.m. today . The auto show, near the Lincoln Park entrance, continues until 5 p.m.

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