Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Wheelersburg kicked off the holiday weekend on Saturday with its annual Porter Township Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony at the war memorial in the community park.
This year’s parade was organized by Rickey Wesney, a Navy veteran who spent four years in active service followed by four years in the reserves. This year’s parade grand marshal was local businessman Al Parsley, of Wheelersburg. Parsley moved into the community about 40 years ago and opened several McDonald’s restaurants in the county, which are now run by Al’s son Bruce Parsley.
“This is a great honor to support our veterans and to be out here with them today, and for the ones that have fallen along the way in battle for this great freedom that we sometimes take for granted. It’s a high price, freedom is, and these men and women paid that price,” Parsley said.
The parade stepped off, leading a long line of high schools, veteran groups, boy scout troops, local organizations, and first responders. Jim Saddler of the American Legion James Dickey Post 23 40/8 boxcar said he was pleased to see the county so enthusiastic about celebrating Memorial Day.
“It’s always a pleasure to be in Wheelersburg and be part of their Memorial Day association. The people in Wheelersburg have a very good program, it’s a very admirable program and they do a good job with the services later on down by the (community park),” Saddler said.
Immediately following the invocation ceremonies at the park, Porter Township Community Pool opened its doors for the start of the swim season.
Formerly Tan Lan Pool in Wheelersburg, the Porter Township Trustees assumed control of the pool in 2003. The non-profit pool offers other draws, such as Swim Dance Nights, party rentals, basketball and volleyball courts, and all the money raised through ticket sales goes back into the pool facilities.
Porter Township Community Pool season tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. The season runs through Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. Park shelters at the Porter Township Community Park may be reserved by Porter Township residents. Cost to reserve a shelter is $25 for four hours and must be paid at the time it is reserved.
More information about the pool, and an application for season membership, can be found online at www.portertwp.com.
If you missed the Porter Township Memorial Day Parade, you can still celebrate the holiday on Monday at the Scioto County Memorial Day Parade or the South Webster Memorial Day Parade. The Scioto County parade begins Monday at 10 a.m. at Tracy Park in Portsmouth and will end at Greenlawn Cemetery. The South Webster parade begins at South Webster High School at 11 a.m. and will end with a ceremony at Gazebo Park.
Saddler noted that the activities in Scioto County probably rival its neighbor in Ironton, which is known for having the largest Memorial Day Parade. The only difference, he said, is that Scioto County spreads theirs across four or five different parades, instead of combining them into one.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.