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Memorial Day programs at area cities

There's nothing that signals the start of summer quite like that first community parade, and in Detroit Lakes, the time is now.

DL parade, ceremony

Detroit Lakes' annual Memorial Day Parade gets underway at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, in front of the DL Community & Cultural Center.

From there, a lineup of approximately 15-20 units will wind its way down Holmes Street toward Washington Square Mall, then turn south on Washington Avenue and proceed to the DL Pavilion, where a Memorial Day program is set to begin immediately following the conclusion of the parade.

According to Arnold "Bud" Larson, commander of John Bridges American Legion Post 15 in Detroit Lakes, units participating in the parade will include the Detroit Lakes VFW, American Legion Post 15 and Legion Auxiliary, and other local veterans' organizations and community organizations.

Laurie Brooke, Becker County Veterans' Service Officer, said that the parade will also feature the two vehicles being sold via auction to raise funds for the WDAY-TV Honor Flight program, which is seeking funds to send the remaining 400-plus World War II veterans signed up for the program to Washington, D.C., where they will be treated to a special tour of the WW II Veterans' Memorial.

Larson also noted that the Memorial Day program following the parade will feature special guest speaker James Copher, a Vietnam War veteran and lifelong Legion member from Mound, Minn. Copher, who is currently a candidate for the office of commander of the Minnesota American Legion, has been active in Legion and veterans' programs for more than 30 years.

Also featured in the program will be the Detroit Lakes Middle School Marching Band (which will also participate in the parade) and Middle School Choir.

Audubon ceremony

The Audubon VFW and the Audubon American Legion will hold a Memorial Day ceremony and graveside service at 10:30 a.m. in the Audubon Community Center. The public is invited. Guest speakers are Dave Bellefeuille, Minnesota State Community & Technical College veterans service officer, and B-2 pilot Duane Stich. Music is by Clint Felker; Bagpipe player Bethany Anderson will also perform. A free-will offering lunch will follow the program.

Lake Park program

Lake Park's Memorial Day program begins at 120 a.m. in the local American Legion hall, followed by a graveside firing salute at the Olson, Keeping Memorial. Following the ceremonies, lunch will be served at the Lake Park American Legion.

Frazee festivities

Frazee's Memorial Day festivities begin with a 7 a.m. pancake and sausage breakfast for veterans, spouses, local Scouts and other parade participants. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., led by members of VFW Post 7702, Frazee. There will be a live band performance downtown following the parade, and the festivities conclude with a ceremony at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.

Wolf Lake services

Wolf Lake festivities will also begin with a breakfast, served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wolf Lake Lions Hall, by members of the Finnish -American Historical Society. VFW Chaplain Clarence Paurus will lead memorial services at the Lions Community Hall, which begin at 11 a.m.

Vergas parade

In Vergas, there will be a downtown parade beginning at 9 a.m., followed by ceremonies at the Vergas Village Cemetery. This will be followed by a patriotic concert at Vergas Assisted Living, featuring Miss Vergas Amanda Hanson, Princess Altona, Alyssa Mayfield, and Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen competitor Alex Gunderson as well as the Skipper Chorus.

Ogema, White Earth

The Ogema VFW and Auxiliary and the White Earth Veterans' Association will conduct area cemetery visitations, beginning with an assembly at the Ogema VFW Hall at 7:30 a.m.

From there, the visits will start with St. Columbia's Episcopal Cemetery, White Earth, at 8:15 a.m., followed by Bethel Lutheran Cemetery, White Earth, at 8:30 a.m.; Assembly of God Cemetery, White Earth, at 8:40 a.m.; Calvary Catholic Cemetery, White Earth, at 8:50 a.m.; Aura Finnish Cemetery, Goat Ranch Road, at 9:15 a.m.; Callaway Cemetery, Callaway, at 10 a.m.; Ogema City Cemetery, Ogema, at 10:30 a.m.; Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Cemetery, Ogema, at 10:35 a.m.; Waubun City Cemetery, Waubun, at 11:15 a.m.; St. Ann's Catholic Cemetery, Waubun, at 11:30 a.m., and Lake Grove Cemetery, at noon.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454