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Final preparations being made for Memorial Day parade
Veterans to serve hot dogs and burgers after event
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Annual Memorial Day parade

When: 10 a.m. Monday
Where: Green Street from First Baptist Church to E.E. Butler Parkway, then to Spring Street
Contact: Click here; Dave Dellinger at 770-718-7676 or Roger Keebaugh at 770-869-7941

Everything is mostly set. Now it's largely a matter of watching weather forecasts and hoping against a repeat of last year's thunderstorms.

Organizers are gearing up for the ninth annual Memorial Day parade along Green Street in Gainesville, with about 75 entries on board so far, some featuring a large number of marchers.

"It's going pretty much like it did last year," said Cheryl Vandiver of last-minute details.

The event is set to start at 10 a.m. Monday, with parade participants gathering at First Baptist Church at 8:30 a.m. Tony Manzo of Gainesville will open the parade with a flyover in his Boeing-made P-17 Stearman biplane.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is the grand marshal and Pearl Harbor survivor Mack Abbott is the honorary grand marshal.

Fran Johnson, who served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II as Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's personal secretary, will ride in the parade as the Northeast Georgia History Center's special guest, said Scott Ballard, who is helping with History Center veterans-related activities that day.

"It'll be fun," said Johnson, who lives in North Hall.

The Paul E. Bolding American Legion Post 7 is sponsoring the parade, which will travel from the church to E.E. Butler Parkway, then go to Spring Street and disband.

Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 772, will serve hot dogs and hamburgers after the parade in Roosevelt Square between the Joint Administration Building and Georgia Mountains Center.

The American Legion also is cooking hot dogs and hamburgers at its post on Riverside Drive, after the parade.

Storms washed out last year's event, which involved more than 100 entries, including war veterans riding in cars and a high school band performing patriotic songs.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City is calling for a chance of showers and thunderstorms Thursday through Monday, with the stronger chance on Thursday and Friday.

"Maybe they'll be over by (Monday)," said Vandiver, who has organized the event since its inception.

"The only thing I really hate when this (type of forecast) happens is (the effect on) the World War II veterans. You don't know if they're going to be able to be back next year or not."

 

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