Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Parade kicks off African-American Festival

10th annual Toledo celebration well-attended, includes state political hopefuls

Hundreds of people lined a parade route in Toledo‘‍s Central City today to kick off the 10th annual Toledo African-American Festival.

Democratic politicians, including statewide candidates Ed FitzGerald for governor and David Pepper for attorney general, walked in the parade, shaking hands and giving out campaign literature.

‘It’s just nice to get out and see people. We got very good feedback,“ Mr. FitzGerald said.

The parade started at Dorr Street and Smead Avenue and followed a 2-1/2 mile route.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for photos from the parade

Mr. FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, is seeking to dislodge Republican incumbent John Kasich, in the Nov. 4 election. This Toledo visit occurred between stops on FitzGerald campaign’‍s “Hometown Tour” across northern Ohio, including a stop Friday night at the Ottawa County Fair in Oak Harbor.

Mr. FitzGerald began running his first television ad of the campaign this week on cable channels in Toledo.

“I saw you on television,” said one man who stood on his porch when FitzGerald went up to meet him.

Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich was in Toledo on Thursday to sign a proclamation designating Riverside Park on the Maumee River as a demonstration site for alternative uses of dredged material.

The two-hour parade featured men on horseback, a Corvette club, and groups from Toledo Public Schools.

Councilman Jack Ford, who is running as an independent for the state Senate, rode in a late-model Mustang convertible. His Democratic opponent, incumbent state Sen. Edna Brown of Toledo, rode in an open 1969 Pontiac Firebird. Both threw candy to children as they slowly drove the route. The Lucas County Democratic Party is trying to have Mr. Ford thrown off the ballot on the grounds that he is a Democrat, not an independent.

Mr. Ford said the parade has grown over the years and that Mr. FitzGerald is the first gubernatorial candidate, to his knowledge, to walk in it.

The festival, sponsored by the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, The Blade, and others, continues with music performances and other activities at the University of Toledo’‍s Scott Park campus. General admission is $20 today, $10 on Sunday, with discounts for students and senior citizens. The festival continues both today and Sunday until 10 p.m.

Contact Tom Troy: or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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