IRONTON — For the 153rd year, the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade took place Monday attracting many cars, visitors, and even horses to the region.
Vehicles from local businesses, area police and fire departments, and high school marching bands looped between Center Street and 6th Street in a residential area of the town. Crowds of families dawned in patriotic attire and their lawn chairs watched the show go by and made sure to grab candy and swabs of bubble gum when those opportunities presented itself.
Joined by family on 6th Street, Doris Wood said she has probably been going to the parade for the past 80 years.
“It’s a great time visiting with friends, especially those who now live out-of-town,” she said, many coming into Ironton to spend the extended weekend.
Wood especially enjoys watching the marching bands, but at one point she was very much a part of the parade. Attending Ironton High School, she was the first head majorette for the Ironton Million Dollar Marching Band in 1955 and 1956.
Even those that have left the area continue to come back for the parade. License plates were not just limited to Ohio, as multiple ones from locations as far away as Florida and Texas were spotted.
Chris Clark was one of those that made the trip down to Ironton, traveling from the Columbus area to partake in the festivities. While moving away to attend Ohio State, he has been a regular at the parade since he was a child.
“It’s sort of a quasi-reunion for us with family,” he said.
Prior to the parade, Ironton Mayor Samuel Cramblit took to Facebook to show his gratitude for all those who put in the work in preparation for what he defined as the longest running Memorial Day parade in the nation.
A wide group ranging from city employees and partnerships with civic groups, local businesses, and volunteers made it a possibility he said. Preparations included downtown tree replacements, cleaning the riverbank, moving the flood walls, and multiple other beautification efforts.
“Thank you to the Veterans community, the sacrifices you have made is the sole reason we can enjoy such a wonderful celebration,” his May 28 post reads, also demonstrating appreciation towards the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade Committee.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter. © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.