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When the father-and-son team of Dean and Jeff Rowe give the signal to commence the 2019 parade at the Seymour Apple Festival, there will be plenty of school marching bands.

Five of them.

From four schools.

 In addition to bands from Seymour Middle School and Seymour High School, high-school bands from the neighboring cities of Fordland, Hartville and Mansfield also will be in the lineup.

“Hartville is the new addition,” said Bob Crump, president of the Seymour Merchants’ Association, the festival’s sponsoring organization. “They contacted us and wanted to be a part of the parade, and we’re thrilled to have them.”

Unfortunately, the “Kilties” from Springfield Central High School won’t attend as they are marching in a parade in the Dallas County community of Buffalo.

This year’s parade steps off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, on the northeast corner of the city square. It travels west on West Market Street, then south on Frances Street before turning east on West Washington Street, where it concludes on the southeast corner of the square.

Last year’s parade had more than 100 entries.

“We’ll again have a parade,” Dean Rowe jokingly said at the final festival planning meeting held last Wednesday at the Seymour Community Library.

“The key if you want to be in the parade is to find Jeff or I, and we’ll get you in there.”

Lineup for the parade starts just after 9 a.m.

Rowe said parade entrants are asked to arrive no later than 9:30 a.m.

Each year, the parade draws an estimated crowd of between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors when skies are clear.

Helen Lamb is this year’s parade marshal.

In other news at last week’s festival meeting:

• Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will visit the festival on Saturday, Sept. 14. His visit to Seymour was coordinated by local business owner Terry Kelley of the Circle K Trading Post. Parson will be the first Missouri governor, in or out of office, to visit the Seymour Apple Festival in the event’s 47-year history. He will be in Seymour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. that day. More on his visit will be announced later.

“This is quite an achievement for us, getting a sitting governor to visit our biggest event of the year,” Crump said.

The last time a Missouri governor visited Seymour was in 2007 when Gov. Matt Blunt came to the city for an open-to-the-public visit at the Webster County Citizen office that was attended by more than 200.

• Cathy Simpson, the festival’s website and Facebook page coordinator, said the event’s Facebook page had 5,302 likes as of that evening. She added that a Facebook post of the festival’s schedule of events had reached 12,800 people only 12 hours after it was posted.

• Eugene and Chad Embrey again will serve as chairmen of the apple-peeling contest. Jeff Rowe is the defending champion. There will be two age divisions — adult and youth. To peel in the youth contest, peelers must be age 16 or younger. Prizes will include custom plaques, Visa gift cards for the winners and each division, as well as pocket knives for the respective second-place winners.

Competition starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in the gazebo of the Seymour Downtown Park. The youth contest is first, followed by adults. Peelers have a four-minute time limit to roll off an unbroken peel.

• Updates were given on various venues, ranging from the corndog booth to the chicken shack, baking contest to the turtle race, pet show to the princess contest. There will be no significant changes for any of them. Emcee for the apple-princess contest is Michael Kyle, who returns after a one-year hiatus.

• This year’s festival begins at noon on Thursday, Sept. 12, and continues until about midnight on Saturday, Sept. 14.

All events are held on the Seymour square.

Admission is free to everything.

Eight different bands will perform — two on Sept. 12, then three each on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14.

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