2023 Chillicothe Truck Parade Celebrated Kenworth’s 100th Anniversary In Style!

Pam Pollock
December 2023

CHILLICOTHE, OH…  Although we attended the 2nd Annual Kenworth Truck Parade in down town Chillicothe, Ohio back on June 17th,  I saved this story until now because I thought it was only fitting to close out Kenworth’s 100th Anniversary year in style.

This was my first time attending the Kenworth Parade, as well as the Kenworth Family Day at their truck assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio.  To say that I was impressed by both events is an understatement!  Kenworth spared no expense in creating a magical event for their employees and families!  Carnival rides, bounce houses, a gigantic slide, catered lunch, and fair food abounded on the grounds of the plant! 

Kenworth customers brought more than 50 new, classic, and custom Kenworth trucks to the celebration, including models built in the 1920’s and 1930’s, a 1976 Bicentennial W900 VIT-200, two Liberty Edition Kenworths – a K100 Cabover and W900 Conventional, a 1984 W900B from Australia, as well as Kenworth’s 100th anniversary Signature Edition T680 and Limited Edition W900.  . A T680, recently delivered to Heartland Express and representing the milestone 750,000th truck produced at the Kenworth Chillicothe plant, also participated in the event.

Just as the sun was beginning its descent, a magnificent Kenworth Truck Parade wove its way through the streets of Chillicothe, Ohio.  To commemorate Kenworth’s 100th anniversary, the trucks featured in the parade started with those built in the 1920s and followed chronological order ending with trucks built in 2023 to showcase Kenworth’s history and advancements throughout the years. Drivers from across the U.S. and Canada traveled to Chillicothe to showcase their trucks in the parade.

“After a successful inaugural Kenworth truck parade last year, this year’s event was even bigger and better as we continue to celebrate Kenworth’s 100th anniversary,” said Jack Schmitt, Kenworth Chillicothe assistant plant manager. “It was great to see trucks dating back to the 1920s when Kenworth first opened its doors to our latest models, many of which are built here in Chillicothe. The event would not be possible without the engagement of our Kenworth Chillicothe planning team, the drivers who came from near and far to show off their rigs and the city of Chillicothe for coming out to support the parade.”

To support the local community, the Kenworth Chillicothe plant and the United Way of Ross County teamed up to coordinate a 50/50 raffle, with proceeds going to the United Way of Ross County. During the parade, Kenworth Chillicothe employees and members of the United Way of Ross County walked around the event to sell raffle tickets. The Kenworth Chillicothe plant also raised money for the non-profit organization through sponsorships of the VIP area along the truck parade route. In total, more than $22,000 was donated to the United Way of Ross County.

It was so heartwarming to see hundreds and hundreds of spectators line the streets of Chillicothe and cheer as the Kenworth Trucks drove by.   The historic Majestic Theatre’s grand arch provided a spectacular photo op for the stars of the evening, the Kenworth Trucks as they drove down E Second Street in Chillicothe.  The Majestic Theatre’s marquee displayed tributes to Kenworth and Professional Truck Drivers.  It was the perfect ending to an unforgettable day.