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After a one-year hiatus because of COVID-19, the Bellevue-Dayton Memorial Day Parade will return to the Campbell County river cities on May 31 for the 92nd time.
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Prior to the start of the parade, memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. at the Dayton Monument, which will include remarks from Dayton Mayor Ben Baker, the presentation of the American flag, a rifle salute, and the placing of a wreath by members of the Kertsen O’Day V.F.W. Post 2899, and with music by the Dayton High School Band.
After the parade, memorial services will be held at 11:30 a.m. the Bellevue Veterans Club, which will include remarks from Steve Brun, president of the Bellevue Veterans Club, the presentation of the American flag, a rifle salute, and the placing of a wreath by members of the Bellevue Veterans Club, the club’s Ladies Auxiliary, and V.F.W. Post 2899, and music by the Bellevue High School Band.
“Dayton and Bellevue are very patriotic communities, and the Memorial Day Parade is a long tradition in our cities, and we excited to see this annual event return to our communities after a one-year hiatus caused by the pandemic,” Dayton Mayor Baker said.
“I want to recognize and thank our parade committee, which has worked extremely hard this year to resume our annual tradition of kicking off the summer by recognizing current military service members and veterans. Active military member currently give or our veterans previously given so much – including some who gave all -- to our country during numerous foreign wars and conflicts to protect the many freedoms we enjoy today in the United States.”
This year’s parade will feature two grand marshals: Marty Mayer (2020) and Ed Ulsas (2021).
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Ulsas, a Bellevue native, is a U.S. Navy veteran from the Vietnam War, serving aboard LST 1166 USS Washtenaw County, homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, and in the Naval Reserves. Ulsas has been an active member of the Bellevue community, including promoting the city’s “First Friday” events and with his wife, Janet, portraying Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus during the city’s Christmas events.
An added feature for this year’s parade is a community beautification project in a patriotic color scheme at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Main Street, where V.F.W. Post 2899 is situated.
The City of Dayton, the Dayton Main Street Board, Yard & Company, and community volunteers painted the corners and crosswalks of this intersection red, white, and blue.
“The corner of Sixth Avenue and Sixth Avenue is the starting point for our Memorial Day Parade,” Mayor Baker said. “ Our Dayton Main Street Board, working with Kevin Wright and Joe Nichols from Yard and Co., who operate the Garage at this intersection, came up with the idea to paint the intersection in a patriotic theme in time for the parade and the finished product is just beautiful.”
Joe Nickol, principal at Yard & Company, said the community response to the painting project was amazing. “We had more than 20 people volunteer to help with the project, and we were able to complete it in just one day this past Friday,” Nickol said.