After 74 years, La Porte Jaycees cede 4th of July Parade to City of La Porte; Kiwanis to organize it this year


This 2016 WNLP photo shows LaPorte Jaycees President Carrie Campbell and 4th of July Chair Joy Zigler sitting atop a Jaycees car in the 2016 parade. (Bob Wellinski photo)

Editor’s note: WNLP will post more on the Jaycees’ history with the parade tomorrow.)  

The La Porte Jaycees made the historic announcement this morning (May 10, 2021) that after being at the helm of the iconic La Porte 4th of July Parade festivities for 74 years, they’ll hand off the task to the City of La Porte. A few hours after the Jaycees’ announcement, the Kiwanis Club of La Porte announced it will handle the duties this year.

Here is the Jaycees’ press release:

While this decision was not made lightly, the Jaycees believe  that it is time to hand off to keep the event sustainable for the future. Over the past decade, the Jaycees have experienced a decline in membership, which led to difficulty operating this  large-scale event. With a lack of volunteers in membership, it has become increasingly difficult  to operate key projects like the 4th of July Parade. 

“The La Porte Jaycees are best known for their legendary parade, along with a fireworks  celebration, Easter Egg Hunt, and the Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour. Even with  membership dwindling over the last decade, the Jaycees have been able to raise and donate over $75,000 back to charitable causes in La Porte. The Jaycees truly believe that “Service to  Humanity is the best work of life” and are excited to continue serving the community as much  as they are able to do so. 

“The Jaycees will continue to host the fireworks celebration on Saturday, July 3, at the La Porte  County Fairgrounds, along with a Port-A-Pit Chicken Fundraiser on Saturday, June 26, at  Kabelin Ace Hardware on the west side of La Porte.

“More information, along with  announcements for other events, will be communicated as the events draw closer.”

Here is the Kiwanis Club’s press release:

“The Kiwanis Club of La Porte is proud to announce that it will be hosting this year’s 75th Annual 4th of July Parade in the City of La Porte. Club President Drummond Osborn said the Kiwanis Club is honored to be part of one of La Porte’s longest-standing and most cherished traditions.  

“‘The Kiwanis Club of LaPorte is excited to play a major role in this year’s 4th of July parade,” Osborn said. ‘This opportunity couldn’t fit better with our club as we celebrate our 100th anniversary this year. Kiwanis’ mission of being dedicated to improving the world one community and one child at a time is in complete lockstep with helping bring this community tradition to the children  and adults in the area.’  

“Upon learning that the Jaycees would be unable to sponsor the event this year, the City of La Porte began approaching organizations within the community in hopes that one would be willing to take it on. When asked, the La Porte Kiwanians were excited to take on the challenge.  

“‘We were sorry to learn that the Jaycees were unable to be involved this year but are very appreciative  for all their prior work and dedication to the parade. They’ve definitely set the bar high,’ Osborn said.

“The Kiwanis Club is grateful for the help and guidance of Joy Zigler and Dawn Zigler, who for many years helped to organize and run the parade.  

“Additional information about this year’s parade will be forthcoming in the very near future. For  immediate questions on La Porte’s 75th annual 4th of July Parade, please contact Drummond Osborn at or 219-362-8567. “

8 Responses to “After 74 years, La Porte Jaycees cede 4th of July Parade to City of La Porte; Kiwanis to organize it this year”


    May 10. 2021

    Wow, the end of an era. Hats off to the Jaycees for all of their haed work.
    Also, a shout out to Jim Roy, owner of The Floor Store in LaPorte, for providing the large American flags that you see flying along Lincolnway every year. Thanks Jim!

    Reply to this comment
    • Adam Lofton

      Jun 14. 2021

      Looking to have our tow trucks apart of this please lmk, where we can sign up

      Reply to this comment
  2. Mike Kellems

    May 10. 2021

    While the lack on volunteerism is hitting everyone, this is incredibly sad news. The Jaycees have, for decades, served our community with pride and distinction. They literally put La Porte on the map with their efforts in putting on the 4th of July parade; the stuff of legends!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Jo

    May 11. 2021

    While I am ecstatic to hear we are having a parade this year, I am saddened to learn the Jaycees is stepping back on the event. Thank you all to have volunteered over the years and put forth such an effort to make this historical annual event what it is today! Change can be good, let’s see what the Kiwanis Club can do!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Billie thresh womack

    May 11. 2021

    Sorry this happen ,but thanks for the next group to do this Super people over the years have put on a good parade every year

    Reply to this comment

    May 11. 2021

    I remember back in 1976 I think it was. The Jaycees were selling raffle tickets for their yearly car giveaway. I believe it was a Malibu that year. My brother’s girlfriend wanted to buy some raffle tickets but didn’t have any money with her so my brother paid for them.
    The next day he found out their ticket had won the car. By the time he talked to her, her and her father had traded the car in already on a Pontiac. Her father offered to give my brother the money for the ticket. What a great guy. Needless to say that romance ended quickly. Lol.

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  6. Charlie Maslankowski

    May 12. 2021

    Very sad to hear this, but like this event many other daily / seasonal things we took for granted have been impacted. Families and busineses have and are still stuggling with the loss of lives and the effects of Covid-19. I grew up with the Jaycee parade and everything that came with it each 4th of July. Kudos to the Jaycee staff for their impact along with all that volunteered behind the scenes! Best wishes for the Kiwanis Club to carry this heavy load, but I’m sure they’re up for it!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Slim Shady

    May 12. 2021

    I remember my friend winning a 1977 or 78 Monte Carlo at the Jaycees raffle that year….. He did pay for the tickets, and his girlfriend wrote her name on some and his name on some. Her name got picked and she got the new car…. and her dad did offer to pay my friend back his $5. What greed !!!!

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