Enshrinement Festival Timken Grand Parade steps off Aug. 4 at 8 a.m.

CANTON, OH (July 24, 2012) – The Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Timken Grand Parade will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4, beginning at 8 a.m. The first grand parade was held in 1963. It has since become one of the largest of the 19 events over a two-week period, celebrating the induction of the newest Class of Enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This year’s celebration will include many returning Hall of Famers who will ride in the parade, along with the Class of 2012 Enshrinees, including Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf. Parade spectators will be treated to the sights and sounds of 16 giant helium balloons, 18 marching and military bands, nine floats and 30 specialty units, as well as antique vehicles, animal units, and much, much more.

The growth of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival over the years is the result of extraordinary support from entities such as The Timken Company, which this year marks its seventh consecutive year as the main sponsor of the parade.

Among the specialty units sure to thrill the spectators are the giant walking flag, South Shore Drill Team, Magical Train, and Al Kaf Youth Group, along with many clowns and costumed characters.

The Timken Grand Parade will enjoy a wide television viewing audience on Fox Sports Net Ohio, available to almost six million households saturating Ohio and reaching into portions of West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York. It will be broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 12, from approximately 6 to 8 p.m. (immediately following the Cincinnati Reds post-game show), and will re-air on Monday, Aug. 13, from approximately 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. (unless there is a Reds make-up game due to previous weather cancellation).

The Timken Grand Parade can also be seen on Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Channel 989; WIVM Channel 39; and Massillon Cable Channel 128. Viewers can also enjoy the parade on Time Warner Cable – Local On-Demand channel 411 beginning Sept. 15.

Dan Dierdorf, Canton native and 1996 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will bring his extensive knowledge of the game to the broadcast booth for the 14th consecutive year, serving as commentator along with Dionne Miller, sports anchor/reporter for FOX Chicago News. Prior to joining WFLD, Miller served as host/reporter with Fox Sports Ohio and the Big Ten Network. Ray Crawford returns for a third year for man-on-the-street interviews with the Class of 2012 Enshrinees and many returning Hall of Famers. For the last four years, Crawford has served as an anchor and reporter for Fox Sports Ohio, mainly covering Blue Jackets hockey.

In order to maintain safety and assure the enjoyment of participants, the following shall apply and will be strictly enforced by parade marshals and safety officials:

• Spectators are absolutely prohibited from coming onto the street and/or approaching any of the units for photographs, autographs or any other reason.
• Likewise, parade participants are prohibited from approaching spectators and/or throwing anything into the crowd.
• The Enshrinement Festival “Policy on Politics” prohibits distribution of political information and/or materials within the event boundaries.
• All vendors (even if licensed by the City, County and/or State) are prohibited from selling on the parade route; any vendor sales or solicitation for sales must occur outside of the event boundaries/barricades.

Parade units step off at Sixth St. and Cleveland Ave. SW, and move north to 25th St. NW, where they will begin to disband. For Enshrinement Festival and football fans wanting to see the parade live, great reserved chair and bleacher seats are still available for only $8.50 by calling the Chamber at (330) 458-2088 or stopping in at 222 Market Ave. N from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

In 2012, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Enshrinement Festival will mark the 49th anniversary of honoring the legends of professional football, which includes conducting a world-renowned festival celebrating the annual enshrinement of football players, coaches and contributors into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The collaborative efforts of this leadership team, combined with the professional staffs at the Canton Regional Chamber and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the dedicated team of more than 4,200 volunteers, will ensure the success of 19 diverse events over two weeks from July 20 to Aug. 6, 2012.

The Enshrinement Festival activities, attended by nearly 700,000 people, are expected to produce an economic impact of over $31 million for the Canton/Stark County area and $56 million for the State of Ohio. In addition, millions will experience aspects of the Enshrinement Festival as events are televised and covered by other media.

The central focus and highlight of this year’s Enshrinement Festival will be the Aug. 4 Enshrinement Ceremony for the 2012 Class of Enshrinees, comprised of cornerback Jack Butler, center Dermontti Dawson, defensive end/linebacker Chris Doleman, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, running back Curtis Martin and tackle Willie Roaf.

For the complete schedule of events, ticket information, and latest news, check the web sites periodically: www.profootballhofef.com or www.profootballhof.com.

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