Gearing up for parade

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade Committee has been working hard all year preparing for this year’s event, which is now just a couple of weeks away.

“We work on the parade all year long,” Lou Pyles, parade committee member, said. “The parade commander is picked new each year, then is usually bumped to grand marshal the following year and an honorary grand marshal is picked new every year by the committee.”

“The grand marshal is usually a non-veteran, but the honorary grand marshal is always a veteran,” Pyles said.

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This year, Julia Jones is serving as the parade commander; Laura Brown is the grand marshal; and Joe Wiseman is the honorary grand marshal.

“The grand marshal is in charge of all of the meetings and committees and makes sure all events are planned and taken care of,” Pyles said. “The parade commander steps up and makes sure that everything runs smoothly if the grand marshal can’t be there.”

Pyles said for the honorary grand marshal, the committee takes records of veterans applied to the committee into consideration for the position. This year, Wiseman was chosen out of six applicants.

“It’s a great honor to be selected as the Honorary grand marshal,” Wiseman said. “I was never one to be out in front and this is the first time that I’ve tried to do this.”

This year’s parade will also feature the 201st Engineers of Ashland, Kentucky, the workhorse division of the Kentucky National Guard. The soldiers walking in the parade are all based in Ashland and will walk with Clydesdale horses from Baldface Farm owned by Matthew Jenkins and his family.