The annual Memorial Day parade in Springfield, said to be the largest of its kind with as many as 2,000 participants, will roll through downtown beginning at 9 a.m. Monday.
Despite ongoing construction on the Veteran’s Bridge, the parade route will proceed as normal, Parade Commander Jim Stewart said.
The city has been working with organizers to ensure the bridge is safe and ready for floats, vehicles, horses and pedestrians.
The northbound half of the bridge is open, including the sidewalk, and that will be the side the parade route uses, City Manager Jim Bodenmiller said.
“We plan to have two volunteers posted at the bridge for pedestrian and vehicular coordination,” he said.
As long as participants follow the lanes that are open, Stewart said, safety shouldn’t be a concern.
A wreath will be tossed from the bridge, per tradition, he said. But the side of the bridge that is accessible will be used.
Possible scattered showers or storms are in the forecast, although more likely in the afternoon and evening hours, with a high around 80 degrees. The parade will go on rain or shine.
Stewart said in his 10 years running the parade it has only rained once.
One addition that was absent from the parade last year is the Shriners, who usually bring more than 100 members, Stewart said.
“It grows a little bit every year,” he added.
The parade goes up Fountain Avenue from High Street to McCreight Avenue then turns west and ends on West First Street.
A ceremony at Ferncliff Cemetery follows and this year will feature Clark County commissioners John Detrick and Col. Rick Lohnes, former commander of the 178th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, located at Springfield Air National Guard Base.
Other events this weekend commemorating Memorial Day:
Annual memorial walk Saturday
Participants are asked to gather at the Howard’s IGA parking lot on the north side of the city at 11:30 a.m. and the walk will begin around noon.
The 1.6-mile route travels to the cemetery, where services will be held, featuring music, a 21-gun salute and speaker and Clark County Commissioner John Detrick.
Afterwards, all are invited to attend a free lunch provided by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 3491, 376 Quick Road.
Parade and ice cream social Saturday
The day kicks off with the North Hampton Lions Club Pancake Breakfast from 7 a.m.-noon.
The parade lines up on South Main Street at 2 p.m. and begins at 3, followed by a ceremony at Sturgeon Park Veteran’s Memorial.
The Pike Twp. Fire Association’s Ice Cream Social will follow at about 4 p.m. at the firehouse. A CareFlight helicopter may make an appearance.
Chicken, noodles and parade Sunday
At 11 a.m. Sunday the Catawba United Methodist Church will start serving its annual chicken and noodles at the fire station.
The Pleasant Twp. parade begins at 1 p.m. from the old school on Ohio 54. Don Hefner, the parade’s founder, will serve as Grand Marshall.
Any veterans who would like to march should arrive between 12:30-2:45 p.m. The parade will have floats, clowns, the Northeastern High School Band, restored Army trucks, several local restored tractors and local EMS and fire departments.
Immediately following the parade, services will be held at McConkey Cemetery.
Parade Sunday afternoon
The Enon VFW will hold a parade and memorial ceremony Sunday.
The parade will line up at 1 p.m. at Indian Valley Intermediate School and the procession will start at 2. It will travel to Enon Cemetery, where VFW officials will honor veterans buried there and dedicate several memorial trees.
Congressman to speak at ceremony Monday
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, will speak at the annual Memorial Day event.
The ceremony begins at 10:45 a.m. at the Oak Dale Cemetery gazebo and Soldiers Mound.
Memorial Day parade and services Monday
Parade lines up at 11 a.m. and begins at 11:30 a.m. at Christiansburg Park and will consist of the Graham High School Marching Band, local fire departments and antique cars. All are welcome to participate.
Services will be held at Smith Cemetery following the parade. Speaking will be Navy veterans Michael and Paul Sullenberger.
Two parades and services Monday
The South Charleston American Legion Post 176 will be holding two services on Memorial Day to honor fallen veterans.
There will be two short parades through town to each cemetery before the services begin.
The first service will start at Greenlawn Cemetery at 9:30 a.m., where the 1st Lt. of the Ohio National Guard will give the keynote address.
The second service will begin between 10:15-10:30 a.m. at St. Charles Cemetery, where John Herzog will be the keynote speaker.
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