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St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade planners release this year’s highlights

ar-170419650-1With Easter festivities wrapped up, the next major federal holiday on the calendar is Memorial Day.

For many, the holiday means the unofficial start of summer, but in St. Clair Shores, the day signifies the annual Memorial Day Parade, a community tradition.

Now in its 65th year, the procession returns at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 28 to Jefferson Avenue for what it billed as the largest of its kind in the Midwest.

“2017 is a milestone year for the St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade and it promises to be our best ever,” said Cheryl Furdos, chairwoman of the parade committee. “The committee works year-round to put together a great event that pays tribute to the fallen, the veterans, and those still serving.”

The theme for this year’s parade is “Remembering Our Fallen Heroes,” with a logo designed by Eleni Zisopoulos, a Lakeview High School senior.

Each year, the parade attracts about 80,000 who line either Harper or Jefferson avenues — it alternates each year — for a two-hour show packed with veterans, military vehicles and politicians. But the festivities also celebrate life in the lakeside community, from public safety to private dance studios to high school marching bands.

Among the highlights for this year are:

• Celebrity appearances by former Detroit Lions running back and 1978 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims, WJBK-TV (Fox 2) weatherman Rich Luterman, media personality Charlie Langton and chef Bobby Nahra;

• A flyover by U.S. Air Force jets, followed by a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Detroit Red Wings national anthem singer Karen Newman;

• Distinguished military veterans Rorbert Haffner, Pearl Harbor survivor Russell Shields and St. Clair Shores Veteran of the Year Lynn Hazlett;

• Musical entries such as Detroit Social Club Band, Plymouth Fife & Drum and a return of The Orbitsuns;

• Military entries including the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy historical vehicles;

• Special entries such as guests from the Parade Company, Ghost Busters, Grand Prix race cars and sports teams mascots Hooper from the Detroit Pistons and Roary of the Detroit Lions.

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