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Parade marches through town to honor veterans
Annual Memorial Day parade Monday morning
Veterans march down Green Street during the annual Memorial Day Parade last year.

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, beauty queens, Shriners, band members, police officers and firefighters will march along Main Street early Monday morning to show their gratitude to the members of the five branches of the military.

The 12th annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, May 26, with intention of honoring all veterans and their service.

“This is for the veterans,” parade co-chairwoman Cheryl A. Vandiver said in an email. “There is no entry fee and no vendors along the parade route.”

In fact, the grand marshals this year will be all veterans who participated in World War II. The honorary grand marshal will be U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who serves the 9th District of Georgia. He also served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force reserve.

Veterans from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Desert Storm operation and the war on terror in Afghanistan will participate. In fact, more than 1,300 people are scheduled to walk in the parade.

Lumpkin County High School Band is marching for its first time. It is a special day for the band since its director, Staff Sgt. Andrew Harwood, just returned from Afghanistan. Other high school bands participating are Chestatee, East Hall, Johnson, West Hall and North Hall, Vandiver said.

The North Forsyth High School will show its support as the school’s Junior Marine Corps ROTC will have 40 students marching.

The Girl Scouts of North Georgia will hand out flags along the parade route. The parade route will begin at First Baptist Church on Green Street, travel to downtown and end at the corner of Spring Street and E.E. Butler Parkway, according to the city of Gainesville website.

All who plan to attend are encouraged to use the downtown parking garage at E.E. Butler between Broad and Spring streets.

The parade is sponsored by the Paul E. Bolding Post 7 American Legion.

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