The Fulton Service Clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Sunrise) and the Fulton Veterans Council have completed the planning for the 32nd Annual Memorial Day Salute to be held on May 24 and 25.
The parade committee has been working for several months putting together the area’s largest parade. The parade date is May 25 and it will start at 10 a.m.
The Memorial Day parade is the Fulton Service Clubs’ way of honoring all area veterans.
However, the parade is open to all groups and businesses in the area.
The theme for this year’s parade is “America, United We Stand.”
The committee will award trophies in several categories for the best representation of the theme.
Last year’s winner of “The Grand Marshal Award” for the most patriotic and interesting group was the Fulton Elks Club Lodge #830 float.
Their float was elegantly decorated and gave a very positive patriotic message to the audience and the parade judges.
A parade is music, with bands of different sizes and sounds.
The “Best Music Trophy” was awarded to the Naples High School Marching Band, under the direction of Phillip Bariteau.
Bariteau works hard with his students to develop their skills. His band is large and the sound is outstanding.
The Fulton Polish Home won the “Theme Trophy.”
They had the Salt City Polka Band and a colorful float that contained several of the Polish Legion of America Veterans (PLAV) on it in their full dress military uniforms. The Fulton Polish Home met all aspects of the parade theme of “America…Worth Fighting For.”
There are always a large number of children’s groups in the parade. So, the parade committee awards three trophies in the category of Children’s Groups.
The first place in the “Children Awards” was awarded to the Off Broadway Dance Studio.
Their dance routine and their beautiful float was second to none.
Second place went to the Fulton Pop Warner.
The Pop Warner boys and girls had a beautiful patriot float, in keeping with the theme, and a talented exhibition by their cheerleading members.
Third place went to the Fulton City School District Junior and High School “marching” band.
Even though the band is not a marching band, their music and marching ability each Memorial Day is to be complemented.
Three trophies are given by the “Fulton Veterans’ Council” for which veteran’s groups and active military are eligible. Winning first place in the Veteran’s group was the VFW Post 569 Float.
Winning second place was the 10th Mountain Division marching band out of Fort Drum.
Taking third place was the Fulton VFW Post 569 Ladies Auxiliary Cars and VFW Junior Girls.
The parade route is the same as it has been for the past 31 years.
The formation of the parade is in the former Nestle’s parking lot and adjacent streets.
The parade then starts north on South Fourth Street by Lyons Street to pass by the Oswego Health facility and the Michaud Nursing Home so that the patients who are able to get outside or to their window can see the parade.
The parade proceeds north to Broadway and then west to Recreation Park.
The reviewing stand will be positioned at West Broadway and West Third Street, in front of Brewer and Brewer’s Mobil Station.
Typically, thousands will line the parade route.
The Fulton Memorial Day Parade tries to be a balanced community based parade.
Active military service units, veterans from all services, several color guards, bagpipe bands, youth groups, fire companies, clowns, school bands, adult bands, some vehicles, lots of walkers, business and industries, scouts, street vendors, usually hundreds of balloons, and even cartoon characters will be in this year’s parade.
The Memorial Day Salute Committee feels that this parade mixture makes for a most interesting event and represents and entertains the community.
A grand marshal leads each Memorial Day Parade.
The Fulton Veterans’ Council, which is made up of all the veterans’ organizations in the greater Fulton area, chooses a “Veteran of the Year” each year.
This year’s Veteran of the Year and parade grand marshal is Alfred Myhill.
The Fulton Veterans’ Council provides the leading color guard for this year’s parade.
All of the bands in the parade are sponsored by area businesses and local industries.
Several bands, sponsored by Cayuga Community College, that have been in the parade every year are returning this year.
Also, the Fulton School’s music department will have all of their bands in the parade this year as they have had since the beginning of the event.
Several colorful floats in each year’s parade make it an event you should not miss.
Many area businesses and industries have entered a float in the parade over the years.
Sometimes an employee group or union have dreamed up the idea and built the float.
There is still time to enter a float in this year’s parade.
Call parade chairman Zach Menter at 591-4502 for more information on how to enter your float or unit in the parade.
The Memorial Day Salute Parade is just one part of the Memorial Day Salute weekend.
The event will open at 5 p.m. on Friday (May 24) and close after the fireworks, sponsored by Community Bank N.A., which are scheduled for 10 p.m.
Food, rides, games, vendors and free entertainment are available throughout the event.
Friday’s entertainment features the G Ray Bodley High School Jazz Band, The Music of Rick Bush and Central New York’s Musical Mystery Tour, sponsored by National Grid, who will be the main entertainment at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s (May 25) hours are from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.
After the parade, the parade bands will do “Stand In” on the Community Center stage.
Virgil the Magician, The Music of Vince Markowsky, the Fulton Community Band and the Fulton Dixieland Band will provide steady entertainment from noon until closing at 10 p.m. with Rob Garrett, “King of Diamonds,” a Neil Diamond Tribute, taking the stage at 8 p.m. Fulton Savings Bank will sponsor this award winning performer.
All of this entertainment is free, thanks to the support of local Fulton and Oswego merchants and industries.
Along with Fulton Savings Bank, Community Bank N.A., Cayuga Community College and National Grid, other Salute Sponsors are city of Fulton, Fulton CDA, Oswego Health, Pathfinder Bank, Johnston’s Propane Service, OCO Public Transportation and VFW Post 569.
For more Memorial Day Salute information, visit www.fultonmemorialdaysalute.com