Standish prepares to host annual Loyalty Day Parade
STANDISH —The 42nd annual Standish Loyalty Day Parade will make its way down M-61, from Airpark Drive to Standish Elementary School, this Saturday, April 27.
According to Marilyn Metiva, who, alongside her husband Marty, has been the organizer of the event for years, there will be coffee, donuts and other refreshments at the VFW post located on US-23 north of Standish from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
The parade lineup will begin at 11 a.m. at Airpark Drive, with the parade itself kicking off at noon. Metiva said the theme for the parade this year is “Saluting America.” Metiva said other people from around the area and the state will be attending, in addition to local veterans from the VFW, American Legion, and other groups, and local officials such as Standish Mayor Mark Winslow and Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare.
“The parade marshal is Bob Sanch,” Metiva said. “We have Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, floats … an honor guard from Fenton, Michigan are coming, and the Linwood VFW is bringing a float.”
According to information from Metiva, Sanch has been a 76-year lifelong resident of Standish, and has been a VFW member for life after serving in the occupation of Germany. He went on to work for Northern Tube in Pinconning before purchasing Arenac Lanes in 1978, and also spent six years as an Arenac County commissioner.
Metiva said the Buddy Poppy princess program will also have its senior princess, 11-year-old Jasmine Carrier of Sterling, and junior princess, 9-year-old Emily Harrow of Pinconning, in the parade. The program raises money to help needy veterans.
Following the parade, she said there would be a short program at the elementary school at 1 p.m., after which there will be a festival with games and rides courtesy of Schmidt Amusements. Meanwhile, the VFW post will host an awards luncheon following the program.
“We will be announcing the dignitaries, and we will be announcing the float winners,” Metiva said. “Last year we had an awards dinner at night, but this year it will be right after the parade at the VFW. There will be a luncheon and the awards will be given out then, and it will go until we have everyone served.”
Metiva said she and her husband do most of the legwork for the festivities, writing letters and making phone calls to get people together for it.
Loyalty Day was first observed May 1 in the 1930s by the VFW to counterbalance International Workers’ Day, which took place the same day and was a common date for demonstrations by socialist and communist groups. President Dwight Eisenhower designated Loyalty Day an official holiday in 1958, and it is now observed as a day for citizens to reaffirm their commitment to their country.
Standish’s VFW post has been celebrating it with a parade since 1972, and has seen governors, state legislators, VFW representatives and members of local civic and veteran groups attend it.