More than 2,600 people are expected to participate in this year’s Memorial Day parade in Springfield, organizers said.
The Springfield Memorial Day Parade is touted as one of the largest in the country. The theme for this year is, “Honor, Duty and Country.”
The parade will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, starting at the corner of West High Street and Fountain Avenue and ending at Ferncliff Cemetery, where a ceremony will be held. Participants are asked to line up downtown at 8:15 a.m.
The event will include nearly 300 vehicles from 120 local groups, organizer Jon Stewart said. More and more groups join the parade each day, he said.
“I don’t feel like we should turn somebody away who wants to honor veterans,” Stewart said.
Stewart’s father, Jim Stewart, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp., organized the parade for years before his son took over. Jon Stewart’s brother, Eddie Hooes, is also a Marine Corp. veteran. Jon Stewart is science teacher at Schaefer Middle School
“It’s my privilege to do something for them since they were in the military and I never was,” Jon Stewart said.
The grand marshal will be Springfield resident David Monroe, a Vietnam veteran who served as an infantryman in the TET offensive. Monroe, a North High School graduate, worked at the U.S. Post Office for 27 years. He also served as the longtime Browns Backers club president from 1995 to 2015.
Several other local holiday events include:
• The Medway VFW will host a Memorial Day parade at 10 a.m. Saturday. Participants will meet at the school on Middle Street and will travel to the Medway Cemetery, where a ceremony will be held.
• The New Carlisle parade will be held at noon Saturday. The parade will begin at Howard’s IGA and travel to the New Carlisle Cemetery at 12:45 p.m. It will be followed by a brief ceremony.
• The North Hampton parade will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday. It will travel from Main Street to Sturgeon Park. A brief ceremony will be held following the parade.
• The Catawba parade will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will travel from the old school to McConkey Cemetery.
• The Enon parade will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. It will begin at Indian Valley School and travel to the Enon Cemetery.
• The Terre Haute parade will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. The parade includes floats, local youth groups, fire equipment, antique cars and tractors, and the Graham High School Marching Band. Memorial services will follow in the Terre Haute Cemetery. This year’s speaker is Champaign County Commissioner Steve Hess.
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