RUMFORD – A traditional Memorial Day parade will be held after all.

American Legion Post 24 Commander Robert Belanger said last week that this year’s parade would be canceled because of a lack of participation and because those who do take part are getting up in age.

But the community wouldn’t hear of it.

Former Commander Joseph Martineau said Belanger was bombarded with phone calls when the story appeared in the local newspaper. The result: There will be the traditional parade along the traditional parade route.

The Mountain Valley High School and Dirigo High School bands are expected to march. Former state Sen. Norm Ferguson will speak, and the parade route will make stops in both Rumford and Mexico.

All those wanting to participate should line up on Canal Street behind the Muskie Building by 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 26.

Route of parade

The entourage will march down Congress Street to the rotary at Veterans Bridge where Ferguson will speak, the bands perform and a wreath be laid in remembrance of fallen soldiers and sailors.

The parade will then re-form and march down Waldo Street, and then onto Lincoln Avenue to the Mexico Green where another wreath will be laid. Speakers will be relatives of some of the men whose names are etched in the veterans’ monument.

Members of the local youth Civil Air Patrol will carry the colors for the American Legion. Other color guards are expected from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Snowshoe Club.

Anyone planning to participate should call Belanger at the American Legion hall.

A third wreath will be laid at the monument in Rumford Center prior to the start of the 9 a.m. parade.

The local American Legion organizes events for Memorial Day, while the local VFW takes care of the Veterans Day ceremonies.

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