FULTON, NY – The 36th annual Fulton Memorial Day Salute wasn’t halted by the early rain as hundreds of community members lined Broadway to watch parade entries go by one by one.
The parade, organized by Cre8 Studios L.L.C., held roughly 100 parade entries.
“Despite a rainy morning we had a great turn out for the parade both in participants and spectators,” said Heathe Jones of Cre8 Studios.
Lawrence Macner led the parade as Grand Marshall as the 2017 Veteran of the Year, selected by the Fulton Veterans Council.
“It’s been a truly wonderful day being the Grand Marshall, seeing the people today at the parade and enjoying the floats, bands, everything,” Macner said.
Macner, a Utica native, lasted a 28-year military career including six years of active duty with the United States Air Force and 22 years with the NY Air National Guard.
His military occupational specialty was as a Jet Engine Technician and as a Quality Assurance Technician before he ended his military career of which his rank was Master Sergeant (E-7) at discharge.
His many years in service sent him to places such as Iceland, Germany, Canada, Newfoundland, Turkey, Al Kharj, and Saudi Arabi as well as many states throughout the nation.
He has received several military awards including the Meritorious Service Medal, two Commendation Medals, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and many others for a total of 17 Federal Service Ribbons as well as an induction to the NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2016.
Currently, Macner is retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 35 and a half years of employment and serves as sixth ward councilor on the Fulton Common Council, a position he has held since 2012.
Following Macner in the parade were roughly 100 parade entries that passed a group of judges that placed awards for several categories.
The Grand Marshall Trophy was awarded to Down Beat Percussion.
Three children’s groups were awarded for their parade performances, they placed as N&N Dance Studio taking first, Central Square Middle School Band taking second, and Fulton Universal Pre-K taking third.
The theme trophy was awarded to Upstate Sandblasting, following this year’s theme “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
The best music trophy was awarded to the Naples High School Band.
Finally, three entries were selected for the Veterans trophy as the VFW Auxiliary placed first, Fulton Veterans Council Color Guard placed second, and the Original Yanks placed third.
“Events like these are so special to our community. We are so happy that we could be a part of it again this year,” Jones said.
The fun carried over to the Fulton Community Center where carnival rides and games were available outside and musical entertainment, food, and beverages were available inside.
Dan Elliot and the Monterays took the stage at 8 p.m. as the event’s main act before fireworks set off over Lake Neatahwanta at 9:30 p.m. rounded out the day’s fun.
The annual Memorial Day Salute is planned each year by committee members composed of representatives from the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and Sunrise Rotary service clubs of Fulton.
The city of Fulton acts as the event sponsor and this year Pathfinder Bank, Universal Metal Works, Community Bank, Oswego Health and Fulton Savings Bank were major sponsors of the event.
Honoring Memorial Day will continue in Fulton as the Fulton Veterans Council will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 29 beginning in St. Mary’s Cemetery, 463 S. Seventh St.
The ceremony will conclude with a complimentary luncheon immediately following the ceremony at the VFW located at 216 Cayuga St.