Shriners plan parade for Saturday
The El Zagal Shriners will be holding their spring ceremonial in Jamestown this weekend with a parade honoring new members and longtime Jamestown Clowns member Curt Goehner.
The parade will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday and will be staged at City Hall. It will run down First Avenue to Sixth Street over to Third Avenue and back up to City Hall.
Every year the El Zagal Shrine has two ceremonials, one in spring and one in the fall. New members are inducted in a closed-door ceremony and one longtime member is honored. But the parade is to show community involvement, said Jim Lees, a member of the Jamestown Clowns.
"The parade is part of our ceremonial celebration in that it notifies the community that the Shriners are holding a function," Lees said.
Members for different units will parade down the streets, some in full clown regalia, with a fire truck, handing out candy and other goodies while the Jamestown Mystics will drive their miniature cars along the route.
This event is comparable to a state convention except the El Zagal Shrine stretches south from N.D. Highway 200 to the South Dakota border and from Dickinson to Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Shriners are part of the Masonic Order and follow the principles of Freemasonry.
There are 22 units in the region with the main temple in Fargo. Each unit has 30-100 members.
"I'd be pleased if we had 10 units represented out of the 22," Lees said of the parade.
At this ceremonial 26 new members will join different units, with 10 joining the Jamestown Clowns.
When a city hosts a ceremonial that branch is able to honor one of its members. Curt Goehner will be honored this weekend.
"Curt's a great guy, he's been very instrumental, he's been a great part of the Shrine, he's a go-to guy," said Nick Scherbenske, membership committee chair for the Jamestown Clowns. "He's very deserving of the award."
For 38 years Goehner has been in the Shriners. He joined the Jamestown Clowns 34 years ago.
"It's because of his tenure and his service, that's why Curt is being honored," Lees said. "He's one of the individuals that's shown leadership and dedication throughout the years."
As a member of the Jamestown Clowns, Goehner helps with the Clown for a Night, has visited students at the Anne Carlsen Center and participates in many parades including the Detroit Lakes Water Carnival.
In fact his clown name, Crunchy, was given to him by a student at the ACC.
"It's just gratifying to see children of all ages enjoying clowns," Goehner said.
He served on the original committee for the organization of the Jamestown/Valley City Shriner Circus and spent 17 years as ticket chairman.
While Goehner admits he can be somewhat of a prankster, the Shriners main focus is philanthropy and raising money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Lees said.
"Our primary calling is to enrich the lives of young people that need the services of our Shrine hospitals," he said.
Each year the El Zagal Shrine donates between $10,000 and $20,000 to different charities, he said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
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