Parade is highlight of 48th annual Loyalty Day celebration
May 02. 2014 9:56AM
This week marks the 48th Loyalty Day celebration in Brandon, and Sunday’s parade – ranked first in the state and third in the nation – is sure to bring out the town’s patriotic spirit.
Beginning at 1 p.m., the “Red, White and Blue Parade” entries will begin lining up in the high school parking lot, and at 2 p.m., the parade will commence west on Holly Boulevard to Main Avenue. It will continue south on Main Avenue to Dogwood Street, where parade participants will disperse.
“Some Gave All, All Gave Some,” is the theme for this year’s Loyalty Day celebration.
The annual event is sponsored by Brandon Three Rivers VFW Post 4726 and its auxiliary in cooperation with Brandon American Legion Post 318 and its auxiliary, and Brandon Edge.
Longtime Brandon resident Kenny Kuhnert will serve as this year’s parade marshal. It’s the second time in about a decade he’s been chosen for the honor.
The Loyalty Day committee has selected the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce as its organization of the year. VFW Commander Dick Pickering said the organization was selected to recognize all the work they do on behalf of the community.
Zane Evans, son of Marlin and Tonja Evans, has and Zoey Mac Inglis, daughter of Tony and Tracie Inglis, will wear the crowns and capes of the Buddy Poppy Prince and Princess, respectively.
Buddy Poppies will be sold Saturday in the city from 8:30 to 11:20 a.m. at Sunshine Foods and Ace Hardware.
“VFW by-laws require that the proceeds from the sales of Buddy Poppies must be used to benefit disable and needy veterans and assistance to the family right her in the community,” Pickering said.
Following the parade, refreshments and balloon sales will be available at the VFW Post Home. A blessing of the bikes is also scheduled for the Brandon Lutheran Church parking lot at the parade’s conclusion as well.
What is Loyalty Day?
Loyalty Day represents one of the largest victories against communism and the subversion and tyranny that communism represented. That battle between freedom and tyranny took place in American back in the 1920’s, a time when millions of Americans were out of work, immigrants were pouring in from Europe, and communists were everywhere in the U.S., spreading their doctrine and trying to subvert the American government.
May 1 – May Day – was a communist holiday until the VFW stepped forward and gave it back to the American people as a day to celebrate America’s form of government and way of life. The VFW took Americans back to the roots of their freedoms to the Declaration of Independence and its defiance of tyranny.
Loyalty Day became a tradition in 1958 with the passage of public law 85-529.
Congress passed the legislation on May 1, marking it as Loyalty Day. It was a victory that the VFW campaigned for many years. However, this day does not belong to the VFW alone, Pickering said. “It belongs to all Americans, (as) the prime requisite for retaining our freedom is unswerving devotion to the liberties embodied in our Constitution.”