Weather holds for Monday parade

Kathy McCarty, Special to The County
17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Cloudy skies deterred some, but not all, from attending the city’s annual Memorial Day parade.
Festivities kicked off around 9 a.m. with a ceremony at Fairmount Cemetery. Next, those in the parade gathered at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where lineup was scheduled, with the parade getting underway at approximately10 a.m.
   Those who made it to Main Street enjoyed a colorful event, filled with pageant queens, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, firefighters, antique cars, animals, a band, and, most important of all, veterans.
Wendell Perry served as this year’s grand marshal.
Midway through town the procession stopped at the Park Street intersection for the ceremonial tossing of the wreath into the Presque Isle Street from the Park Street bridge. Doing the honors this year was Earl McGrath, commander of VFW Post 2599 in Presque Isle.
“This is a time to remember those who’ve served our country and those who are currently serving,” said McGrath. “Today we show our appreciation for efforts past and present” to keep our nation free.
Queens from a number of communities rode through town on a variety of rides, from convertibles to antique trucks. The local Anah Temple Shrine chapter made an appearance, doing laps around their pace car as they made their way north on Main Street.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts – some in uniform, others in patriotic red, white and blue attire – traversed the route, holding up banners and waving flags as they went. The Presque Isle High School marching band made marching easier for all walking in the parade by playing a variety of musical selections. The North Star Search and Rescue group was quite noticeable in their blaze orange gear.
Looking spiffy in their dress uniforms were members of the Presque Isle Fire Department – getting in a bit of practice before the annual Fireman’s Muster scheduled later this summer. Presque Isle has a reputation for placing at the top, often finishing first, in the marching competition during the annual competition that allows firefighters to have fun while demonstrating various skills.
At the conclusion of the parade, veterans gathered at the memorial park across from the Mobil station on Main Street, where two benches were dedicated. The benches provide seating for visitors to the park. While there, visitors had the opportunity to enjoy a hotdog roast.
Making the event a safe one was the job of the Presque Isle Police Department, who blocked streets and detoured traffic, allowing the parade to make its way through town.
Rain showers held off until after the parade, with only scattered sprinkles hitting the Presque Isle area in the early afternoon.