The City of Fort Thomas has named an iconic family as its 2021 Independence Day Parade Grand Marshals.
“The Arnzens have been a staple of Fort Thomas for decades and we’re excited to have them as our parade Grand Marshals,” said Fort Thomas Mayor Eric Haas.
Bob and Joanne Arnzen, owners of the Olde Fort Pub, have been Midway District stalwarts since first opening their establishment in 1977. The Olde Fort Pub, established on St. Patrick’s Day 44 years ago, is located at 1041 S. Fort Thomas Avenue.
Parade co-chairs Linda Slone and Jim Trauth said that they keep a running list of potential marshals that would represent the city well. Slone said that it’s always an honor and one the committee takes seriously.
“When Jim and I asked Bob and Joanne to be our parade marshals, they were shocked and could not believe they were being honored in this way,” said Slone. “We truly believe with all they have done in and for this city, it is an honor that is very well deserved.”
Joanne said that this year was made more special because she and Bob were parade co-chairs in 1977, a year that helped track their family’s future.
“When we moved back to Fort Thomas in 1977, the same year we opened The Olde Fort Pub, we were asked to organize the 4th of July Parade. Every year since then we have watched and enjoyed the parade from our business at the end of the parade route never thinking that we would one day be chosen as Grand Marshals,” she said.
“We are very surprised, excited and honored to being chosen this year’s Grand Marshals and look forward to celebrating with everyone along the way.”
The Arnzens both grew up in the Fort Thomas.
Most people in Fort Thomas know them now through their civic volunteering duties and business ownership. Bob and Joanne married in 1974 and started The Old Fort Pub in 1977.
Joanne attended Ruth Moyer Elementary and Highlands High School. Bob attended St. Thomas and St. Xavier High School. Bob went on to receive a basketball scholarship for Notre Dame University and also played baseball for the Irish.
He pitched for Montreal Expos for four years and also logged four years of professional basketball experience with the New York Nets, Cincy Royals and Indiana Pacers. He is a three-time Academic Basketball All-American and was on the American Basketball Association Championship in 1973.
Bob was in the Fort Thomas Army Reserve from 1969-1975. Their children, Megan (Krieg), Nate, Annie and Michael make the long-time business a family affair.
The Fort Thomas Independence Day Parade is Saturday, July 3, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. With around 75 participants and festivities planned throughout the evening, it is one of the City’s largest attended event each year.
This year’s parade theme is “The Roaring 20’s Again.”
The parade will start at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and N. Fort Thomas Avenue near Highland United Methodist Church and travels south on the avenue to Tower Park and ends near the intersection of N. Fort Thomas and River Road. City streets along North and South Fort Thomas will be closed for a period.
Anyone interested in participating in the parade must register. Any questions can be answered by contacting parade co-chairs Jim Trauth (859-992-1884) Linda Slone, (859-750-9532) or Melissa Beckett (859-441-1055) or MBeckett@FtThomas.org.