Memorial Day ceremonies, parades resume after one year hiatus in 2020

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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(WIFR) - Bagpipes and parades, 21-gun salutes and military ceremonies are set to return to the region but this didn’t come without some quick planning. Ted and Hiliary Deppe are on the Pecatonica Events Committee and are in charge of planning the village’s parade along with many other festivities.

Ted says, “We always want to put on a great parade for everybody and I think under the circumstances we came through this year.” “Last year was supposed to be our 150th parade but this year now is technically our 150th parade, which is one of the longest-running in Illinois,” Hilary says.

Memorial Day marks the first major holiday since COVID-19 restrictions were loosened. While many people are ready to get out, it’s much more than that. Village President Bill Smull says, “It’s not only important to get everyone out of their houses to start coming out of this pandemic but the most important thing of the weekend is our veterans. That’s what Memorial Day is all about. It’s good our community can come together and celebrate.”

Rockford’s Memorial Day Festivities date back to 1870. Officials with Veteran’s Memorial Hall and Museum in downtown Rockford say getting back out brings the best in what makes the Stateline great. Scott Lewandowski says, “There is a sense of community and camaraderie. This is nothing political and has nothing to do with whether you’re blue, red or anything else. It’s to honor those that made that sacrifice.”

Hiliary Deppe says when it comes to planning in Pecatonica, “I do anything to support Ted to make sure this gets off without a hitch.”

Pecatonica says on their website that the Memorial Day Parade is the second largest in Illinois. That kicks off at 2 p.m. on Monday in downtown Pecatonica. Below is a map of the parade route, which was recently changed.

Memorial Day Parade route change! Line-up will NOT be on 7th St. due to construction!! Parade will line-up at the middle school and travel on Main Street to 1st Street. ❤️🤍💙 See you in a week!!! 2pm on Monday

Posted by The PEC on Monday, May 24, 2021

In addition, a carnival kicks off in downtown Pecatonica on Saturday and will continue through Monday. The details on the carnival are below.

Last Day to buy your pay-one-price wristbands at Village Hall come see me before 4:30 to get yours and save! Also don’t forget to join us for the Street Dance Sunday May 30!

Posted by Pecatonica Village Hall on Friday, May 28, 2021

In the City of Rockford, Memorial Day events are being put on by the Veteran’s Memorial Hall and Museum along with the Winnebago County Veterans Association on Memorial Day, May 31. Here are the details of the events throughout the weekend:

  • The Parade, a Rockford tradition since 1870, will honor Area Veterans Organizations, school bands, Police and Fire Departments and organizations that continually support area Veterans. This will start at 9 a.m. Monday and will proceed north on 7th St. to Charles St., Charles St. to State St. units will then travel west on State St. and turn north on Wyman St. and then proceed north to Beattie Park where the parade will end. Unit review and commentary will be at the Armistice Peace Memorial on the east side of Veterans Memorial Hall.
  • A Memorial Day Ceremony, following the parade on the Wyman St. side of Veterans Memorial Hall and Museum. N. Wyman St between Mulberry St and Jefferson St will remain closed and the Memorial Day Program will begin. This year’s program will include comments from Winnebago County Board Chairman Joseph Chiarelli and also include presentations from Todd Burton with the Department of Defense announcing a Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemoration program in honor of the end of the Vietnam War and Shelley Johnson with Sunshine Stitches will present a Quilt of Valor to three local Veterans. We will conclude the ceremony with a Memorial Dove release Presented by Barb Martin with Unity Hospice and Palliative Care and the playing of Taps by Montford Point Marines, Beloit-Rockford Chapter # 41 President, Stanley “Curly” Thompson.
  • The annual Navy Club Ship #11′s Sinking of the Ship ceremony, including the reading of General Order #11, a wreath presentation, a 21-gun salute by the Rockford Detachment Marine Corp League and the sinking of the ship presented by the Navy Club Ship #1 on the river bank behind the Luther Center at 113 N. Wyman St

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