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Community's Memorial Day Celebration Shaping Up
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Recognizing those lost in the service of this country will be the focus of a couple upcoming special events in Escalon, with the Memorial Day holiday fast approaching.

Saturday, May 28 will include a downtown parade and Monday, May 30 will be the annual ceremony at Burwood Cemetery on River Road.

Prior to those activities, however, the local American Legion Post 263 will be hosting its Armed Forces Day breakfast, scheduled for this Saturday, May 21 at the Masonic Temple on Viking Street.

The breakfast will run from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the menu includes ham, linguica, scrambled eggs, pancakes, juice and coffee. Proceeds will go toward community projects and the Vets Helping Vets organization.

Putting together the downtown festivities for the second year, Legion member Harold Peterson said the Escalon Historical Society has stepped up to serve as the sponsor for the program this year.

"There will be a P51 fly by at 9 a.m. and the parade starts at 9:30 a.m.," Peterson explained.

The fly by of the plane - an event that was a crowd pleaser last year - and the playing of 'Taps' will signal the start of the festivities.

The parade itself is slated to include several military vehicles, local service clubs, a World War II veteran combat flyer as grand marshal, antique ambulance and more.

"Just show up," Peterson said of those wanting to participate in the parade. "There's no charge for being in it."

Fly bys from aircraft in the commemorative air force are also planned periodically and following the parade there will be a car show in the city's Main Street Park.

"We probably have 50 to 60 show cars, there's no charge for that either, they will be on display in the park," said Peterson.

After the success of last year's event, Peterson said it looked at first like it might not happen this year, but he thanked the Historical Society for helping make sure it was "a go."

The Society will also put on a barbecue with hot dogs, sausages, chips and drinks for sale.

On the actual Memorial Day holiday on Monday, the service at Burwood Cemetery will begin at 11 a.m., said Legion member Mark Sward. Flags will be placed on the graves of veterans at Burwood prior to the ceremony, so those attending will be able to tell where the veterans are buried.

"We used to get just a few people but it has grown," Sward said of the Memorial Day observance.

The ceremony is open to all and American flags will also fly that day along the city's Main Street to recognize veterans' service and sacrifice.