North Raleigh neighborhood gears up for Memorial Day parade
Posted May 23, 2013
Updated May 24, 2013
Where I grew up, not too far from Waterloo, N.Y., the birthplace of Memorial Day, every little town had a big Memorial Day parade with scouts; high school marching bands; lots of fire trucks and service vehicles; and solemn moments to remember the men and women who have served our country.
If I remember correctly, the parades were scheduled throughout the area so that each band, truck and group could make it to multiple parades.
There aren't many Memorial Day parades around here, but the Summerfield North Neighborhood Association in north Raleigh has been marking the day with a parade for 20 years this year. I'm told that many of the more than 500 families in the neighborhood will participate or observe the parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m., Monday.
"Many of our neighbors will be walking, biking, and riding to mark the occasion," Robyn Davis-Lay wrote me in an email. "A few of our children’s groups will also ride, including our local Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops."
This year's parade will include some riders from the American Legion. Local businesses will be represented, including Barone Meatball Company Food Truck and Poppyseed Market. Some of the businesses are owned by Summerfield residents. Helping Hands Mission Band also will perform.
Other special guests will include Swoops from the Carolina Railhawks, Wool E Bull, the Chick-Fil-A cow, Sparky and McGruff. Local and state politicians will be on hand including Raleigh City Council member Randall K. Stagner and State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. State Rep. Jim Fulghum will serve as the parade marshal.
It ends at the gazebo at the adjoining Wycombe condominium complex where there will be a short ceremony to honor those who have served.
After the ceremony, the neighborhood's swimming pool at 8519 Strickland Rd. will host an open house so the public can check out the facility. The pool's swim team will be selling hamburger and hot dog plates to raise money. LifePointe Church will bring out its ice cream truck. (There is limited parking at the pool).
Davis-Lay tells me it's best to enter the neighborhood from the Running Cedar Trail and Strickland Road entrance, park and walk toward the parade route, which runs through the center of the neighborhood starting at Mourning Dove Road.
She also wants to be sure folks know that this is a neighborhood parade without the facilities that you might find at a parade downtown (read: no port-a-potties). And it's small ... it should last about 30 minutes or so.
But it's definitely a great way to mark the day and why we celebrate it before the summer season begins.