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Community Ready To Honor Veterans With Annual Parade

Waynedale’s annual Memorial Day parade is ramping up to help celebrate the holiday and honor our nation’s service members, past and present.

The annual spring celebration is usually one of the area’s most popular and well-attended events, attracting big crowds along the procession route. And organizers don’t expect this year to be any different.

“We’re ready to get together, celebrate Waynedale, and remember the veterans,” said Joe Stockman, Commander of AmVets Post 33.

The parade will happen on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, beginning at 9 a.m.

Sponsorship and responsibility for helming the event rotates each year between the AmVets Post 33, VFW Post 1421, and the American Legion Post 241. This year, the job went to AmVets.

Set to take part in the miles-long procession are squad cars from the Fort Wayne Police Department, fire engines from the Fort Wayne Fire Department, other first-responder vehicles, a number of classic cars owned by different individuals, and the Wayne High School marching band, among other local organizations.

In addition to the annual favorite organizations that regularly appear in the parade, this year, the following organizations reached out to The Waynedale News to let you know to look for them in the parade lineup: Southwest Stewards 4-H Club of Allen County, Born Again Quilts, King Gyros (Goshen Road), 4th District Councilman Dr. Scott Meyers, as well as many others.

The fire, police, and first-responder vehicles will lead the procession, because immediately after Waynedale’s parade, those vehicles will be driving to the north side of the city to participate in the city of Fort Wayne’s Memorial Day parade, which snakes down Parnell Avenue and goes past the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum at 4000 Parnell Ave.

Waynedale’s parade will start at the Waynedale United Methodist Church parking lot, located at 2501 Church Street. Stockman noted that anyone interested in joining the parade (such as those with classic cars) are welcome to come to the staging area at 8:30 a.m. before the parade begins and talk to him about joining the procession.

From there, the celebration line moves down Church Street, then onto Old Trail Road. After that, the parade motors up Old Trail until it ends at the Prairie Grove Cemetery, located at 6312 Old Trail Road.

Once at the cemetery, there will be a ceremony placing small American flags on the graves of military veterans. Following that, a speaker will give a short address to the crowd. Stockman said this year’s speaker will be a female U.S. Navy veteran, a conscious decision to help shine the light on more women service members.

“We’re trying to recognize more women vets, because they don’t get recognized enough,” he said.

Stockman said, based on past parades, he expects roughly 2,000 folks will turn out to watch the holiday event. In years past, the sidewalks along Old Trail are typically packed with spectators, many with lawn chairs brought from home, others standing to get a better view of the spectacle.

In case of rain or other bad weather, unfortunately, there is no rain date for the parade, the event will just be cancelled.

Stockman noted that the entire reason for holding this event is a simple one.

“It isn’t just for the veterans,” Stockman said, “It’s to remind us of why we celebrate Memorial Day, and for us to remember the fallen. That’s why we do this.”

For those interested, the parade will be available live and after the event on The Waynedale News’ Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Waynedalenews.

Michael Morrissey

Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer