The Memorial Day parade hosted by the Glen Burnie Improvement Association for decades has been canceled this year because of declining participation, the association’s parade chairwoman said.
The parade — held for the last 30 years on the weekend before the holiday — was created to honor veterans and those serving the country as well as fallen soldiers, with as many as 150 local military units, schools, bands and community groups invited each year, parade chairwoman Candy Fontz wrote in the association’s announcement.
This year, participation “decreased sharply,” with only about a third of average participants registering.
For this reason, Fontz said this year’s parade scheduled for Saturday was canceled.
“The Parade Committee met to discuss all aspects before making this decision and it is not one that was made lightly,” Fontz said.
Glen Burnie parades marking the holiday that remembers America’s war dead stretch back at least to the end of World War II.
Fontz said next year’s parade is still on for May 19, 2019, and that the association expects a “larger response.”
In place of the parade, the community group has scheduled a Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at the Veterans War Memorial on Central Avenue. The ceremony will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Organizers explained the timing of the parade, usually the first for the holiday, as intended to allow area residents who travel on the three-day holiday to take part.
Other communities have parades scheduled for the holiday weekend:
- Annapolis will hold its parade starting at 10 a.m. May 28. The parade will follow the traditional route down West Street to Church Circle and down Main Street. A wreath-laying ceremony follows at Susan Campbell Park.
- Bowie holds its parade from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Acorn Hill Park.
A number of services and ceremonies also are planned in the area.
- The annual service at the World War II Memorial just across the Severn River from Annapolis takes place at 11 a.m. May 28. This year’s guest speaker is Heather Shreve, author of “Once a Colonel.”
- Ceremonies also will be held at 11 a.m. at the Crownsville Veterans Cemetery, the Korean War Memorial in Baltimore and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Baltimore.