On a warm summer day, numerous residents and out-of-towners alike crowded into the downtown area to watch the 94th annual Pioneer Day Parade on Sept. 17.

The parade featured plenty of Honor Guard units carrying their flags, Pioneer Day Royalty Berton and Marty Lamm, Distinguished Guest Tom Piltingsrud, Parade Marshal Sam Carlssen, Al Kaly Shriner units, political groups and candidates running for office along with other dignitaries.

It was a wonderful day for the parade watchers, which included Mitch Del Duca and his family.

“I loved it,” he said. “I grew up here in Florence and I've been going since I was a little kid. (It's nice) being able to come out and do this again. After Covid and everything, this is great to do this for my family, bring my girls out to show them what I got to do as a kid.”

Also attending the parade were Ron and Paula Shaffer, of Grand Junction.

“I graduated from Florence in 1964 so we're having a class get together,” he said.

When asked about the parade, they both praised it.

“(It was) wonderful,” Paula said. “(I liked) the white carriage with the white horses. Oh they're beautiful.”

“I really liked the band. Of course, I played in the band in high school for three years,” Ron said.

After the parade was over, many of the attendees strolled down to Pioneer Park, where they browsed through the craft fair, munched on many selections of food and sipped the beverages. Some participated in the corn hole tournament while registered seniors enjoyed a complimentary barbecue lunch and listened to music.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Flywheelers Club hosted its annual Tractor Pull in Pathfinder Park, where participants drove their tractors, trying to be the competitor who drove the furthest, pulling the heaviest weight.

All and all, it was a very good Pioneer Day Festival. Already, the Pioneer Board is planning for next year, which is sure to be bigger and better than ever.