During the annual Lions Fall Festival parade on September 10, two special people will be celebrated as the grand marshals of the event.
Steve and Vicki Snider have been well known in the community for decades and were instrumental in renovating Lions Park into what it is today.
Lions Park was established in 1940 as a private park but open to the public. In 1992, Lions Club member Tom Melind, responsible for the major renovation project, began asking the community for help in adding new playgrounds, ball diamonds and trails to the 18-acre property.
One of his first calls was to the Sniders of the Snider Group.
“The park was in pretty bad shape 30 years ago,” Vicki Snider said. “Tom asked Steve to get involved because we had some of the big equipment needed to do these projects. Steve started talking to others in the industry and everyone was donating to make this project a success.
The Snider Group works with bulldozers, excavators and other large equipment to develop subdivisions, construct sewer lines, utilities and other projects.
Snider remembers completing preparatory work for the parking lot, moving large boulders along the creek bank to slow flooding, and working on the first of seven baseball and softball diamonds on the property.
“Steve said someone built this pitch for him, and now it’s his turn to build a ballpark for somebody else,” Snider said.
The couple officially joined the Lions Club in 2002 and Snider recalls the delight of the entire community when it came time to volunteer for major annual Lions events and create floats for the biggest parade of the year. .
“I used to design the tank design and Steve and his friends would build it and I would paint it,” Snider said. “We did a float for 10 years and had so much fun. I think it’s wonderful that everyone is working together. We all take turns volunteering.
Their love for the Lions Club and their community is evident as Snider looks back over the years.
“Steve and I took a wagon ride around the neighborhood for the kids on Halloween,” Snider said. “I provided hot dogs, popcorn and vegetables for everyone to enjoy while waiting for their turn to ride. Then the Lions Club started having their Pumpkins and Hayride event at Lions Park and for years they used their tractor and we used ours to do two cart rides at a time.
The couple like to talk about the annual kitchens (Vicki won in 2009) and their support for the Zionsville Fire Department (ZFD). They even allowed ZFD to store fire trucks on their Snider Group property during a renovation years ago, and together with their neighbors raised over $250,000 for research into the disease. Alzheimer’s through a Sparkle Party/Drag Race to end Alzheimer’s disease on Zionsville Brick Street.
They were on hand to dig the pond for Zionsville Methodist Church and helped lay out the playground for Pleasant View Elementary School, meeting many community residents, friends and neighbors along the way.
“Lions Park is a wonderful place to have in the community,” Snider said. “We have so many new members and the community knows the park is there and so well maintained. We like to play an active role in all of this.
The Lions Fall Festival Parade takes place at 10 a.m. on September 10. It starts at Zionsville Community High School, runs down Mulberry Street to Ash Street, then the 1.2 mile route ends on Main Street.
For more information, visit the website at https://www.zionsvillelions.com/events/fall-festival-1.