Eli Wahlam, 8, Blaine Ison, 7, Zachary Wahlam, 5, and Ethan Brown, 9, all of North Vernon, above, watch the Indiana Ceremonial Unit Mounted Color Guard pass by during the 2013 Madison Regatta Parade Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Eli Wahlam, 8, Blaine Ison, 7, Zachary Wahlam, 5, and Ethan Brown, 9, all of North Vernon, above, watch the Indiana Ceremonial Unit Mounted Color Guard pass by during the 2013 Madison Regatta Parade Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
The 2013 Madison Regatta parade dodged the weather-related issues that have plagued the Regatta Festival this week.

Many spectators hoped for a dry parade day and set up lawn chairs hours before the event began.

This was a year of changes for the parade.

This is the first time the city was in change of the parade. The Madison Regatta controlled the parade for 40 years. Regatta Festival Chairperson Amy Ralston still oversaw several details of the event. The change was made because of insurance concerns with the city having the final approval of details.

The biggest change to the parade this year was the start time of 7 p.m.

Another noticeable change was the length of the parade. Instead of a nearly three-hour parade several spectators had grown accustomed to over the years, the parade lasted a little over an hour with about half as many entries as compared to last year's lineup.

Organizers had hoped to shorten the parade by charging businesses and organizations a $50 entry fee. School groups and non-profits were exempt from the fee.

The march down Main Street began with the lights and sirens of police vehicles from different agencies while other floats and vehicles joined in the lineup of nearly 60 entries.

Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Elbert "Ickey" Woods, who served as the parade's grand marshal, waved and interacted with the crowds from a car while making his way down Main Street.

Woods, one of the stars of the Bengals' 1988 Super Bowl team and known for his "Ickey Shuffle," demonstrated some of his touchdown celebration moves from the vehicle to the delight of the crowd.

Because of the delay in practices on the river, most all of the hydroplanes and the teams participated in the parade this year. Some annual crowd favorites made a return to the parade route as well with the Southeastern Indiana Shrine Club's miniature motorcycles and the miniature vehicles of the Bartholomew County Shrine Club entertaining the crowds with their formations.

Local musician Rusty Bladen took part in the parade as well, but issues with his tour bus caused a bit of a back up when the bus stopped just west of Broadway. Several hydroplane crew members and spectators helped to push the tour bus another block to Elm Street.

Some of the floats incorporated this year's parade theme of "America: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," with patriotic displays. The River Valley Financial Bank featured a depiction of Mount Rushmore and won the Closest to the Theme award.

The Vevay Bicentennial float won the Best of Parade award by portraying historic buildings of Switzerland County and boats along the Ohio River.

The Miss Madison Regatta float carrying this year's Regatta royalty won the Mayor's Award. The Ohio Valley Celtic Society featured a salute to Celtic heritage and the builders of St. Michael the Archangel Church and earned the Most Creative award.

WORX/WXGO Radio's float featuring an old-fashioned radio, an iPod and people dressed as famous singers won the Most Entertaining award for their entry. The Judge's Special awards went to Madison Gymnastics World and the Little Miss, Miss Pre-Teen and Miss Teen Madison Regatta float.