Community

Coupeville always marks Memorial Day with parade

Coupeville Boys and Girls Club members Joshua Amundson, left, and Mathew Shreffner practice the kazoo. Children from the club will be playing the kazoo while marching in Coupeville’s Memorial Day parade Saturday, May 29, beginning at 11 a.m.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Coupeville Boys and Girls Club members Joshua Amundson, left, and Mathew Shreffner practice the kazoo. Children from the club will be playing the kazoo while marching in Coupeville’s Memorial Day parade Saturday, May 29, beginning at 11 a.m.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

Coupeville continues its long-running tradition of honoring veterans who gave their lives defending this country.

The Coupeville Memorial Day Parade and remembrance ceremony takes place Saturday, May 29. The historic town is one of the few cities that still hold a parade to honor Memorial Day.

“We’re one of the oldest if not the oldest Memorial Day parade on the West Coast,” said Lynda Eccles, executive director of the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce.

More than 80 entries comprise the 2010 version of the parade, Eccles said. A kazoo band from the Boys and Girls Club, 100 clowns and a bagpipe band from Tacoma are joining the plethora of community groups, veterans organizations, Pearl Harbor survivors, antique cars and marching bands that comprise the parade.

A flyover by a plane based at NAS Whidbey Island kicks off the parade, which begins on South Main Street at 11 a.m. The procession will continue down Main Street to Front Street, up Alexander Street, then onto Coveland before ending at Town Park.

“It’s just a good old-fashioned, Memorial Day parade,” Eccles said.

Once the parade wraps up, people will walk toward Town Park to attend the yearly remembrance ceremony. Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Commanding Officer Capt. Gerral David and Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard are scheduled to speak. The U.S. Army National Reserve Band based at Fort Lewis is scheduled to perform.

Once the ceremony is complete, everybody is invited to stay at Town Park to enjoy a picnic sponsored by the Central Whidbey Lions Club. Lions Club members will cook hotdogs that will be donated by Prairie Center.

There will be several road closures in Coupeville beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. Terry Road to Fort Casey Road will be closed until 11:30 a.m.; Front Street from North Main Street to Alexander Street will close until 3 p.m.; and Alexander Street from the municipal parking lot to Coveland will close until 2 p.m. The top of Broadway and Madrona will also be closed. Volunteers will direct traffic coming onto North Main Street.

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