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ALTON - The Annual Alton Memorial Day Parade continued 154 years of tradition Monday in Upper Alton, but this year it was a time that the city remembered not only those who sacrificed their lives for their country but was one of the first large area gatherings since the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak.

East End Improvement Association is the sponsor of the annual parade. Steve Schwartz of East End said some of the comments he heard as he walked around were that people were so grateful to have the parade back in full form and see normal activity.

“There was some social distancing and overall, I think the parade and the participants were great,” he said. “We had about 50 different groups participate and a great turnout. Overall, there were a lot of smiles on people’s faces to have the parade back.”

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Dick Alford was the parade grand marshal and Schwartz said that also was a great choice.

Schwartz thanked Alton Mayor David Goins, the City of Alton, the Alton Police and Fire Department and street department for their work, and also the Alton Optimist Club that always does the staging for the parade.

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Alton's 154th Memorial Day Parade