Politicians love a good parade, but in this election year, there won't be any candidates screaming "Vote for me" at Monday's Annapolis Memorial Day Parade.
City officials say Annapolis has strict rules about political and business advertising in the parade, aimed at keeping the focus on America's veterans and those who died serving the country.
"We want it to be very respectful to the veterans and to the memories of those who have been lost. We really want no politicking at all," said Felicia Nolan, special projects coordinator for the city government.
Politicians and candidates are warned not to consider the parade as a campaign event. In bold, capital letters, parade rules state that politicians "SHALL NOT" wear campaign clothing or buttons.
They also are banned from handing out campaign literature or using campaign signs to decorate floats or vehicles.
Likewise, businesses with signs on their floats must incorporate Memorial Day or veterans themes in their message, according to city rules, which offers suggestions such as "ABC Company Honors Those Who Serve."
"We want it to be respectful, and this is how it's been the past couple of years," Nolan said. "We're going to do what we can."
The Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. and follows the typical parade route in Annapolis, starting at Amos Garrett Boulevard and traveling down West Street, around Church Circle, down Main Street and ending at the Market House at City Dock.
After the parade, the city will host a ceremony at Susan Campbell Park featuring state Sen. John C. Astle as the keynote speaker. Astle, a downtown Annapolis resident, retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of colonel in 1996 after a 30-year career on active duty and in the reserves.
The ceremony also will feature Navy officials, the Naval Academy band and a wreath-laying ceremony.
The Annapolis Memorial Day Parade caps a week of celebrations around town for the Naval Academy's commissioning of its newest batch of officers.
The past week featured the academy's plebes climbing the greased Herndon Monument, an air show by the Blue Angels and graduation with a flyover by the Blue Angels. Many Naval Academy families and alumni remain in town over the holiday weekend for weddings and gatherings.
Other Memorial Day events in Anne Arundel County include:
Ceremonies hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2462 in Pasadena at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Sunset Beach Veterans Memorial near the Stoney Creek Bridge, and at 11:20 a.m. Sunday at Fort Smallwood Park's Memorial Grove, 9500 Fort Smallwood Road.
•A Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony hosted by the Deale Area Historical Society at 10 a.m. Monday at the War Memorial located at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, 5965 Deale-Churchton Road.
•Informal gathering at the Linthicum Veterans Memorial, at the corner of Camp Meade Road and Maple Road, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, with a wreath-laying ceremony at noon.
•Ceremony at the Crownsville Cemetery, 1122 Sunrise Beach Road, at 11 a.m. Monday.
•The Odenton Memorial Day Parade at 5 p.m. Monday, capping off the final night of the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company's annual carnival.
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