Ironton has long been known for its tremendous Memorial Day Parade. But this year’s parade is even more special than ever. This year’s parade marks the 150th Ironton Memorial Day Parade and brings with it an extra spectacular parade for the citizens of southern Ohio, northern Kentucky and anyone else who loves a parade.
Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith spoke on the 150th celebration of the parade: “We anticipate the parade to be larger — with it being 150 and a centennial event — so we do have state representatives who will come down and walk the parade. We do have additional people wanting to be part of the parade who have never been in it before. So we’re very excited about the number of people who will come into town this weekend.”
The mayor says the parade is 12 divisions long, and it normally takes about two hours. The parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Monday. As for the city and people of Ironton, Keith says, “We’re very excited. This year, Commissioner Deanna Holiday and I hosted an Ironton-Lawrence County Patriots’ Ball that commerated the parade committee and 150 years of the longest and continuous running parade in the nation, and it is very impressive. Congressman Bill Johnson came in and took [the parade] to the Congressional floor and dedicated it as the longest and continuous running parade.”
Keith has been the mayor of Ironton for two and a half years, and she is the first woman mayor of Ironton.
There’s a memorial marker at the intersection of Center Street and Fifth Street, on the right when traveling east on Center Street in Ironton, dedicated to the parade. It states:
“Since 1868, Ironton’s annual Memorial Day parade has recognized those in Lawrence County who died while defending our country’s freedom. This was the same year in which the Grand Army of the Republic established May 30 as Decoration Day. Originally established to commemorate soldiers who died during the Civil War, the parade now honors those who served during all the nation’s wars. Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971. The Ironton event is recognized as the oldest Memorial Day parade in Ohio, and the oldest continuing Memorial Day observance in the nation.”
Having the parade dedicated in Congress and recognized as the oldest, longest, continuous running parade in Ohio, makes this 150th event stand out, and deserves the recognition it is getting this year.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928