Jackson County

Special parade in Ocean Springs this fall will be first in 90 years

Ocean Spring’s first Veteran’s Day Parade in 89 years is scheduled to stop at the Pershing Square veterans monument in front of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center to pay respects to all veterans honored there. Sandy Reid, left, and Richard Eckert are with American Legion Post 42, which is hosting the parade.
Ocean Spring’s first Veteran’s Day Parade in 89 years is scheduled to stop at the Pershing Square veterans monument in front of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center to pay respects to all veterans honored there. Sandy Reid, left, and Richard Eckert are with American Legion Post 42, which is hosting the parade. ttisbell@sunherald.com

American Legion Post 42 has finalized arrangements for a Veterans Day parade — the first here since 1927.

It’s set to roll Oct. 29, a Saturday two weeks before Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11.

The city set that date to work around the Peter Anderson Festival and the Halloween Trick or Treat Down the Street, both downtown events.

Post 42 has been growing in recent years — sponsoring events and working on a memorial — so a parade is a natural offshoot, but also quite an undertaking.

Veterans and patriotic paradegoers come, bring an American flag and cheer.

Richard Eckert, American Legion Post 42 member

The date the city picked is the same day as a high school band competition in Jackson, so local high school bands, including the Ocean Springs High band, won’t be available, post member Carl King said. They’re looking for any bands that might want to participate in the parade.

The idea is to get the word out for veterans and patriotic paradegoers to come, bring an American flag and cheer, post member Richard Eckert said.

Eckert said 30 units have signed on — walking units, open vehicles, motorcycles, ROTC, military units, veterans groups and civic organizations. A number of walking units have committed from the USS Mississippi Submarine Vets to the Ocean Springs High JROTC.

There are openings for floats, cars and more walking units.

The parade will line up along Front Beach at 11 a.m. and proceed on a 2-mile route — Porter Avenue to Washington Avenue to Government Street to Holcomb Boulevard, where it will end.

It will include:

▪  Departure from Front Beach at 1 p.m. sharp, with city dignitaries on board.

▪  A limited number of chairs for senior citizens along Government Street in front of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center

▪  Water from Post 42 at the Mary C. and other areas along the route.

▪  A brief stop to place flowers at the Pershing Square veterans monument at the Mary C. The Mississippi American Legion Department Commander Murray Toney and Post 42 Commander Sandra Reid will do the honors.

Any musical groups or bands interested in participating, or other groups, can call 875-8384 or 249-2789.

On Nov. 12, the 16th annual Gulf Coast Veterans Parade will roll at 11 a.m. in downtown D’Iberville.

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