Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — Daymar College and the village of New Boston are collaborating this month for the Third Annual First Responders Parade on May 18.
Started in 2011, the parade honors emergency first responders and military servicemen and women and veterans.
“In the wake of this past year, and all the stuff that’s been going on across the country, first responders have been at the forefront and it’s time that we as a community step back and recognize them and say ‘thank you’,” said Mike Bell of Daymar College in New Boston.
The line-up for this year’s parade begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the Tractor Supply Company parking lot in New Boston. The parade begins at 11 a.m., moving east on Rhodes Avenue to Park Avenue (next to Golden Corral), then from Park turning onto Gallia Street and moving west all the way through the village and turning back down Buch Street (next to Bert’s Pet Center) to go back to Rhodes Street where the parade will end at Daymar College.
This year’s parade route is larger, Bell said, because he expects a larger turnout or participants and spectators. Confirmed so far is State Rep. Terry Johnson, the VA Command Center Bus, military honor truck, local first responders from and New Boston and Portsmouth police and fire departments, Stockdale Fire Department and more. Portsmouth and Rosemount fire departments will have their engines parked on either side of Gallia Street, with their ladders extended to hold the American flag above the parade route.
Sen. Sherrod Brown has also been invited to participate in this year’s parade, but is not yet confirmed.
“It’s very important to say ‘thank you’ to first responders for what they’ve done, but also to remember the ones that have laid down their lives for us. Because you don’t know, tomorrow something may happen to you that you need these first responders,” Bell said.
After the parade, a special ceremony will be hosted at Daymar College in New Boston with special guest speakers, refreshments and awards for community service and public service. In the past, the ceremony has included inflatables for children. Bell explained why those will not be at the ceremony this year.
“We’re not going to do the inflatables this year because I want to focus more on the reason why, and let these kids see that,” he said.
Bell said that he hopes the community will come out to show their support, and take a moment of their day to shake the hand of a first responder and say ‘thank you.’
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.