AP NEWS

Veterans Wanted for Dracut Parade

May 17, 2019

DRACUT — Participants are still being sought for the town’s Memorial Day Parade, which will be held in less than two weeks.

Council on Aging Director Bethany Loveless and Veterans’ Services Office Jeffrey C. Hollett, considered the administrative arm of this year’s event, are looking for more people to march the route.

The parade will be held rain or shine on May 27 and will kick off at 11 a.m. from the Greenmont Avenue School, 37 Greenmont Ave.

Loveless and Hollett have a heightened focus on veterans for this year’s parade. They can be active duty, retired, reservists. They need not be from Dracut to join the march.

“We want to get the word out to veterans that they are welcome regardless of when they served. We would like as many veterans to participate as possible,” said Loveless recently. “People can march if they feel that they’re able. If they don’t feel that they can march, we’ve got people in classic and antique cars that are able to have passengers.”

There will also be a vehicle from the senior center available.

“As a veteran, it’s pretty easy to say what Memorial Day means to me,” Hollett said. “It’s our opportunity to stand up for our fallen brothers and sisters and we feel that it’s part of our civic community involvement.”

To encourage greater participation, Loveless said the “most patriotic” parade vehicle will receive recognition. She is also putting a call out for patriotically dressed dogs. The dogs need to be registered and leashed. Service dogs are welcome, according to Loveless.

Other features this year include bag pipers, a jazz band, and the return of a trailer with the replica of the USS Constitution.

The town’s Memorial Day Parade made headlines late last month over whether or not to allow the Dracut Republican Town Committee (DRTC) to march. It raised questions in the community on which bodies administer the event. Richard Ducharme, commander of the American Legion Post 315, said that the organization puts on the event, while the town helps organize the order of bands and participants.

The DRTC will be participating in the event after all, and Selectmen Chair Jesse Forcier said this opens up parade participation to other political groups as well.

Those interested in participating in Dracut’s Memorial Day Parade may call 978-957-2611.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.