IRONTON – After a significantly reduced Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day parade last year, this year’s version will be closer to normal, said Lou Pyles, marshal of the parade.
The parade, which has been held in Ironton since 1868 and is recognized as the longest continuous parade in the country, is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Monday.
It is one of a number of holiday-related events scheduled this weekend as part of the annual Ironton Home Weekend, according to Mayor Sam Cramblit.
Navy Night activities were scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday by the Ironton River, Pyles said. The fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday.
Saturday, D. Scott Freeman, Patriotic and Native Ironton Instructor and Chairman of the Nominating Committee for General William H. Camp No.10 at 2 p.m. in Ironton.
Several organizations, local and non-local, will participate in the wreath laying ceremony, according to Freeman. About thirty descendants, including family members, plan to attend.
Another wreath laying ceremony, also an annual event, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Woodland Cemetery in Ironton.
After missing last year due to COVID-19, the annual Catholic Charity Fair will host events including a limited menu, concessions and pot-sharing at the Parish Live Center along Quincy Street. Coffee and bread rolls will also be available ahead of the parade, according to Ralph Kline.
The menu includes pulled pork sandwiches and ice cream, he said.
“Looks like we’re getting back to normal,” Cramblit said. “I expect a significant turnout. The parade serves as a homecoming event for residents of the Ironton area.
“We are hoping for good weather and a good parade,” said Pyles.
The parade will consist of 11 units this year, down one unit from the traditional 12 units, she said. Local churches and student and pageant groups are not participating as usual.
There will be three floats and five high school groups from Ironton, Dawson-Bryant, Symmes Valley, Rock Hill and South Point plan to attend, Pyles said.
“The Shriners are back this year,” she said.
A military overflight is scheduled for 9:40 am. Later, local pilots will fly over the parade route which begins at South 3rd and Center Streets, along South 3rd to Quincy and back along South 6th Street.
“We’re happy with what we’ve been able to achieve this year,” said Pyles. “Hopefully things will improve next year. We want everyone to be safe.”
Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask, but others are asked to mask themselves, she said.
“We want to play it safe and keep the tradition going,” she said.