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City Marks Memorial Day In Style
With a P51 Mustang effectively buzzing the Main Street corridor - more than once - then executing a few picture perfect barrel rolls over the fields east of Escalon, the Wheels of Freedom Memorial Day Celebration got off to an exciting start on Saturday.

The 'fly over' of the Mustang, piloted by Terry Cardini and with back seat passenger Dr. Bob Peterson of Escalon enjoying the ride, was the catalyst for a day of remembrance for those that have served this country. Dr. Peterson financed the fly over and had the chance to strap in for the ride.

"Wow, how do you describe that?" he asked once his feet were back on solid ground.

Then, he provided an answer for his own question.

"The best roller coaster you've ever been on, on steroids," Dr. Peterson summarized of what it felt like to be up in the P51. "It was awesome."

Saturday's downtown celebration featured a couple more fly bys during the course of the day but none quite as spectacular as the low-flying 'buzz' created by Cardini in his P51.

The parade included groups ranging from local scouts to the American Legion colorguard, the American Legions Riders motorcycle group, the local FFA, Escalon Fire Department, Escalon Community Ambulance, representatives of the sheriff's department and more. A variety of vintage military vehicles also made its way along the parade route, then was set up in the Main Street Park area so residents could get an up close look.

Classic cars and trucks joined the military vehicles in the park for a car show, Legion members grilled up hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch, D'Boni's Pizza offered items for sale, and a few vendors had booths with a variety of merchandise.

The Army National Guard had an informational tent set up and Ernie Bucio's 'Little Big Band' took to the stage for a number of selections, including several of the patriotic variety to add to the theme of the day.

Another table was dedicated to a group of veterans and vintage airplane owners, there to offer stories and information.

Serving as organizer for the Wheels of Freedom celebration was Harold Peterson, who was generally pleased with the event and couldn't have been happier with the weather, with sunny skies prevailing over the rains earlier in the week.

"It was just perfect," he said.

On Monday, the traditional Memorial Day, services were offered at Burwood Cemetery on River Road.