APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)
It’s the biggest and possibly best of its kind in the country, and Saturday, the city of Appleton hosted its 69th Annual Flag Day Parade.
There were over 100 units in this year’s parade, and an estimated 75,000 people attended.
“This is an honor and privilege for us veterans to be in this parade,” said Michael Taylor, Vice Commander, American Legion Menasha. “It is the largest in the country. It means a lot to all Americans to have parades like this to honor our flag.”
This year’s parade included marching bands, patriotic floats, military vehicles, and of course, thousands of flags.
As usual, the parade’s Grand Marshal was the American flag itself, but different this year was a new parade committee chairman. Corey Otis took the role over from his father, Greg.
“Family tradition is really huge with this parade,” Otis said. “Not only with our committee – there are a lot of second and third generation committee members who help put this together – but as we walk through at the end of the parade, we see a lot of the same families from year to year in the same places. They gather for the parade and also kind of a reunion and just a nice excuse to get together.”
And if the tens of thousands who turned out this year are any indication, 69 years in, Appleton’s Flag Day Parade is still going strong.
“I just enjoy it all,” said Kathy Wagner of Menasha. “It’s a wonderful day, beautiful weather. It’s just a fun day. I think this is great for Appleton to put on this wonderful Flag Day Parade every year.”
WATCH: Local 5’s Tom Zalaski and Erin Davisson get ready to host the Flag Day Parade broadcast
Local 5 is the exclusive broadcast partner for the Appleton Flag Day Parade. Local 5’s Tom Zalaski and Erin Davisson have hosted the parade’s broadcast for 20 years, and they shared their thoughts ahead of this year’s event.
Local 5 will broadcast the full parade Saturday at 10:35 p.m. and Sunday, June 16, at 11 a.m.
WATCH: 484th Army Band performs at Houdini Plaza
The parade was preceded by a performance from the 484th Army Band at Houdini Plaza.
Local 5’s Justin Razavi was on scene to capture a bit of their performance.