Grayling’s Fourth of July parade will proceed under new leadership

A military veteran and family man has taken the reins of Grayling’s Fourth of July parade, which will proceed forward as planned.
Leonard Nemeth, the commander of the Carl W. Borchers Post Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) #3736, stepped down as the organizer for the Fourth of July Parade. He said the VFW is still sponsoring the parade, but the organization and American Legion Post #106 are focusing their efforts on bringing the traveling Vietnam Wall to Grayling. The memorial will be in the community from July 19 to July 24 at the Crawford County Sports Complex.
Nathan Bracken, who served four years in the U.S. Army with the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland, is taking over the parade.
“Basically, it’s just another veteran picking it up,” Nemeth said.
Nemeth said Grayling veteran’s organizations need to focus on finding sponsors and volunteers for when the traveling Vietnam Wall comes to town.
“We’re basically asking for everyone to come together to make this work to honor and respect our veterans,” Nemeth said.
Bracken, who is from southern Illinois, and his wife Kaelynn, from southern Michigan, recently moved to Grayling. The couple has four children, who attend the Grayling Elementary School.
Bracken said he started seeing posts of Facebook from people who were expressing disappointment that the Fourth of July Parade may not be held this year.
“I just felt that we should have the Fourth of July parade with Camp Grayling being here, the large military veteran population that we have, and the large population of people that currently serve in the military,” Bracken said. “We just wanted to help out.”
The permit for the parade from the City of Grayling was revised, new registration forms were sent out, and Bracken has contacted groups, individuals, and organizations that had signed up to be part of the parade.
“We’re moving along just fine,” he said.
The parade will be held on the normal route with the lineup at Lake Street at 10 a.m. The parade will move down Galen Street starting at 11 a.m., will continue down Michigan Avenue, and will end on Peninsular Street.
Bracken said he is pleased to offer his skills to keep the holiday tradition moving forward.
“Obviously, being new to community, it’s nice to see how the community rallies around one another to get something done,”  Bracken said.
For more information or to sign up for the parade, contact  Bracken at (989) 745-6347.

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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