IRONTON — After a vastly scaled down Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade last year, this year’s version will be closer to normal, said Lou Pyles, parade marshal.
The parade, which has been held in Ironton since 1868 and is recognized as the longest continuous running parade in the country, is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Monday.
It is among a number of holiday-related events scheduled this weekend as part of Ironton’s annual homecoming weekend, according to Mayor Sam Cramblit.
Navy Night activities were planned for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ironton riverfront, Pyles said. Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, D. Scott Freeman, an Ironton native and patriotic instructor and nominating committee chairman of Cincinnati-based General William H. Lytle Camp No. 10, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, will hold a Civil War veterans grave marking event at 2 p.m. in Ironton.
Several organizations, both local and non-local, will participate in the wreath-laying ceremony, according to Freeman. About 30 descendants, including family members, are planning to attend.
Another wreath-laying ceremony, also an annual event, is scheduled at 2 p.m. Sunday at Woodland Cemetery in Ironton.
After missing last year due to COVID-19, the annual Catholic Charity Fair will hold events including a limited menu, concessions and split-the-pot at the Parish Live Center along Quincy Street. Coffee and rolls also will be available before the parade, according to Ralph Kline.
The menu includes pulled pork sandwiches and Icees, he said.
“It looks like we’re getting things back to normal,” Cramblit said. “I anticipate quite a turnout. The parade serves as a homecoming event for Ironton area residents.”
“We’re hoping for good weather and a good parade,” Pyles said.
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 aren’t participating like normal.
There will be three floats, and five high school bands from Ironton, Dawson-Bryant, Symmes Valley, Rock Hill and South Point are planning to attend, Pyles said.
“The Shriners are back this year,” she said.
A military flyover is planned for 9:40 a.m. Later, some local pilots will fly over the parade route that starts at South 3rd and Center streets, along South 3rd to Quincy and back along South 6th Street.
“We are happy with what we’ve been able to pull together this year,” Pyles said. “Hopefully, things will pick up next year. We want everyone to be safe.”
Those fully vaccinated don’t need to wear a mask, but others are being asked to mask up, she said.
“We want to play it safe and keep the tradition going,” she said.