JUNE 3-5, 2016
The Peony Parade Committee would like to thank everyone that attended and give a special shout out to the following people, which helped to make it a memorial day for everyone involved.  Linda Stutz (parade co-coordinator), Jeff Hammonds and the Police Department, Amy McConn (announcer), Gary and Jason Showalter, Black Angus on Main, ESB Pro Audio, Van Wert Amateur Radio Club, Van Wert  Carts and More, Van Wert Streets Department, and Barb Showalter, Chris Turner, Nancy Conn, Roberta Miller, Carol Fleagle and Ashley Rickard (parade judges). The six judges chose the following five entries to receive special recognition for their floats:
Grand Marshall Award: Truly Divine
President Award: D.A.V. Tomb of Unknown Solders   
Queens Award: 1st Baptist Church                                                          
Mayors Award: Birds and Spurs Taxidermy                               
Theme Award: YMCA Camp Clay
This year’s Peony Festival and Parade were overall a great success and we appreciate everyone’s involvement.
                                                                                                                                                                        Ann Marshall Peony Parade Chairperson
                      Van Wert is a special town with a special history. One part of that history is dedicated to a beautiful flower: the Peony.
       At the  turn of the century, during  the early 1900s Van Wert area gardeners grew this beautiful, aromatic flower in huge fields around Van Wert. Van Wert was known at that time as the Peony Capital of the world. The first Sunday in June was considered Peony Sunday, and in 1932 the celebration was expanded into the first Peony Festival.
       The festivals continued until 1960 with interruptions during WWII and again during the 50's. Crowds of 100,000 in number were reported to attend the annual event in it's early years, with 2 parades held on Saturday. In 1992, it was decided to ressurect the Peony Festival which has run annually for the last 20+ years.
         The festival has grown to include a Fishing Derby for Children, Free Entertainment for Children, Crafters, an Art Show,
Great Food Vendors, a Free Concert on Friday night (special thanks to the Van Wert County Foundation) another smaller free concert on Saturday night, a Car Show, Self Guided Garden Tours, and Various acts and dancers throughout the day on Saturday.
               Please aquaint yourself with us through our website via the tabs located at the top of the page, then join us for a weekend of Family Friendly entertainment.