WATERLOO – This year’s honor float in the Freedom Parade pays tribute to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Sampson Naval Training Station, now Sampson State Park.
Parade Co-Chair Sarah Smolinski and Nicole Hunsberger invite all veterans of Sampson Naval Training Station and Sampson Air Force Base to ride on the float, being constructed by Romulus Girl Scouts. An estimated that 411,000 Navy and 330,000 Air Force personnel completed their training at Sampson.
The parade will line up at 10:30 a.m. and step out promptly at 11 a.m. for the march down Main Street.
To prepare for WWII, Sampson Naval Training station was constructed in 270 days on 2.600 acres in May 1942. Sampson later was a training facility for the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.
A float by Girl Scout Troop 605162 will honor all other veterans. Any Vet who would like to ride on the float is invited to call Smolinski at 315-745-9928 or Hunsberger at 315-719-5247.
Veterans will follow in cars, motorcycles and especially buses from the VA hospital in Canandaigua. Those who want to drive their own cars must have at least three people in the vehicle. Following the parade, vets will be hosted at a buffet lunch at the VFW. Please RSVP to Karen Lewis at 315-651-9513 to allow the VFW to plan for enough food.
Past Welles Award winners will take another bow on this year’s float by the Waterloo Library and Historical Society in the parade.
Also honored this year will be the youth who were winners in the annual essay contest. They will join dignitaries on the reviewing stand to watch the remainder of the parade.
Groups that have been in the parade before know what fun it can be. Once again, there will be divisions for military and officials; youth organizations, schools and families; churches, senior citizens and organizations; and vehicles. The Civil War and American Revolutionary War re-enactors will have a “parade within a parade.”
Watch for special “dignitaries” in this year’s parade including US Presidents Terry Roosevelt and President Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.
The very popular Hit Men will join the Waterloo Central School Marching Band, Downbeat Percussion, Might St. Joe’s Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, Finger Lakes Pipes & Drums and other bands in the lineup this year.
Bring your chair and wave a flag to honor our vets and community stars!