The Fulton Service Clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Sunrise) and the Fulton Veterans Council have completed the planning for the 30th Annual Memorial Day Salute to be held on May 27 and 28th. The parade committee has been working for several months putting together the area’s largest parade. The parade date is Saturday, May 28th, and it will start at 10:00 A.M. and is sponsored by Pathfinder Bank.
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 “Proud To Be An American”. The committee will award trophies in several categories for the best representation of the theme. Last year’s winner “The Grand Marshall Award” for the most patriotic and interesting group was the Oswego Industries Life Program float. Their float was very colorful in red, white, and blue, and gave a very plain 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 Central New York Police and Fireman’s Band. This band, under the direction of Andrew Osmun, demonstrates great skill and poise as a marching unit.
The Calvary Baptist Church won the “Theme Trophy.” Their float was colorful, contained many children, and the children’s hand bell chorus was well executed. They met all aspects of the parade theme of “America The Beautiful”.
There were 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 Brockville Lions Club for their steel band youth project. This steel drum band project raises money for the many children’s activities the Brockville, Ontario Lions Club conducts. Second place went to the Off Broadway Dance Center, a perennial winner in the children’s award category. Third place went to the Fulton City School District Pre-Kindergarten program for their very colorful, original and patriotic display.
Three trophies were given by the “Fulton Veteran’s Council” for which veteran’s groups and themes are eligible. Winning first place in the Veteran’s group was the Fulton Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, VFW, Post 569, Color Guard. Winning second in the Veteran’s category was the 10th Mountain Division Marching Band from Fort Drum. Taking third place was the Fulton VFW Auxiliary and VFW Jr. Girls float.
The parade route is the same as it has been for the past 29 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 lead band in this year’s parade will be the G.Ray Bodley High School Band. 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 Marshall 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 Marshall is John McGraw. 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 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 5:00 PM on Friday evening and close after the fireworks, sponsored by National Grid, which are scheduled for 10 PM. 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 the very popular and local favorite Dr. Boogie will be the main entertainment at 7 PM.
Saturday’s hours are from 10 AM until 10 PM. After the parade, the parade bands will do “Stand In” on the Community Center stage. Virgil the Magician, the Off-Broadway Dancers, The Music of L.A.Rising and the Fulton Community Band will provide steady entertainment from noon until closing at 10 PM with ORLEANS taking the stage at 8 PM. Fulton Savings Bank will sponsor this American pop-rock band best known for its hits “Dance With Me” (1975), “Still The One” (1976) and “Love Takes Time (1979).
All of this entertainment is free, thanks to the support of local Fulton and Oswego merchants and industries. Other Salute Sponsors include Alliance Bank, Cayuga Community College, City of Fulton, Fulton CDA, Johnston’s LP Gas, OCO Transportation, Oswego Health and VFW Post 569. For more Memorial Day Salute information, visit the website at www.fultonmemorialdaysalute.com.