By Lora Scripps
Planning for the fifth annual Veterans Day parade is well under way.
The parade is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. It will begin at Athens High School and end just beyond downtown at the site of the proposed new library on Jefferson Street. Deadline for parade entries is Nov. 1.
The event is usually held the first Saturday before Veterans Day. However, it has been scheduled a week early this year so the Veterans Museum can celebrate its 10th anniversary on Nov. 10.
“Anybody and everybody is welcome, and we will award trophies for the most patriotic and the best overall parade entry,” said parade coordinator Roxanne Haggermaker. “We have the Tanner High School band and cheerleaders participating this year and are always looking for other schools in Limestone County to participate.”
Limestone County’s Dempsey McLemore, a World War II paratrooper and prisoner of war will serve as grand marshal. McLemore was part of the 82nd Airborne and member of Company A, which parachuted in behind enemy lines in Normandy, France, in order to capture the village of Ste. Mere Eglise, destroy bridges and disrupt communications. He was captured and taken as a POW and later liberated by the Russians.
Special guest Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, will also join in the festivities.
Parade entries will line up at the school. Judging begins at 10:30 a.m. Entries who enter late will be placed in front of the horses, Haggermaker said.
Each person or group entering a float, car or other entry is asked to donate $25. Donations should be mailed to the Veterans Museum at 100 W. Pryor Street, Athens, AL 35611, or call and a volunteer will pick it up.
Potential participants can call Sandy Thompson at 256-771-7578, Roxanne Haggermaker at 256-374-2073 or Alysha Towe at 256-874-7215.