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ALTON - The Alton Memorial Day Parade is always one of the highlights of the year in Alton and each year has the East End Improvement Association as the lead sponsor. The 156th consecutive version of the parade was again “a great day to thank the veterans for their service,” Steve Schwartz, of East End Improvement Association and a spokesperson for the Memorial Day Parade, said.
The parade starts at Alton Middle School and flows through Upper Alton. This year, as usual, there were hundreds of observers and significant community participation.
The first Alton Memorial Day Parade was held in 1868, just three years after the end of the Civil War. More than 55 participants took part in the 2023 event.
“We had about 55-plus organizations that participated and this ranged from voter groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, clubs, a few commercial businesses, and overall was a well-rounded and good parade," Schwartz said.
“The Marching 100, the Alton Middle School Band, the Alton Jaeger Guard, a Civil War re-enactment group, the John Ford Highlander Pipe Band, and the popular Rolling Nobles were again fantastic, and multiple honor guards participated. It is such a good community event.”
Schwartz closed with this statement: “It is such a tradition in Alton. We look out and see the same faces over and over in the crowd and also new people. I think Jack Keller, the parade marshal, was very happy and he was honored to be the parade marshal. I think it meant a lot to the Keller family.”
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