RUMFORD – The traditional Memorial Day parade kicks off from Canal Street at 9 a.m. Monday, May 26.

The parade almost didn’t happen.

American Legion Post 24 Commander Robert Belanger said earlier in the month that interest didn’t appear to be there for a parade this year. But once area people heard that the parade might not happen, a lot more interest was shown.

Now, the traditional parade with various wreath-layings will happen, along with participation from two area bands.

Those planning to participate should line up on Canal Street behind the Muskie Building by 8:30 a.m. From there, the parade will march down Congress Street to the rotary at Memorial Bridge where former state Sen. Norman Ferguson will speak, bands from Mountain Valley and Dirigo high schools will play, and a wreath will be laid in honor of fallen soldiers and sailors.

The parade will then reform and march down Waldo Street and then onto Lincoln Avenue, across the so-called Red Bridge, then to the Mexico Greens. Another wreath will be laid; the speakers will be relatives of some of the men whose names appear on the veterans’ monument.

A third wreath will be laid at the monument in Rumford Center before the start of the parade.

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

The annual Memorial Day parade is organized by the local American Legion. The VFW organizes the Veterans Day ceremonies in November.

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