May 11, 2009 (La Mesa)-- On Saturday, May 30st beginning at 9:00 am, downtown La Mesa will dress up in red, white and blue for the Annual Flag Day Parade, "A Salute to Old Glory!" The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. and marches through downtown La Mesa Village. Spectators will enjoy over 75 entries, including 6 marching bands led by the Marine Corps ensemble. Grand Marshall Shannon O’Dunn, spearheaded the fundraising effort to save the parade after the City Council was forced by budget constraints to withdraw municipal support. In appreciation, more than 70 citizens and businesses who donated funds to save the parade have received invitations to join officials on the reviewing stand.
"Wee had $10,785 in hand on March 16, putting us over the goal of $10,300 for keeping the parade alive,” O’Dunn reported in an e-mail to East County Magazine. “Since then, SDG&E has sent in $500. All monies beyond the $10,300 will be put in a special account to help fund the parade next year, so we are off to a good start for that!” Next year’s parade will feature Lt. John Finn, a 99-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor and the oldest living Congressional Medal of Honor winner, as Grand Marshall. This year’s parade will feature floats, military vehicles, active and retired war heroes, equestrian units, service clubs and youth groups. The celebration of civic pride will also feature a 20-foot wide ‘living flag’ carried by community volunteers. Two patriotic pre-parade concerts will begin the festivities from 9 am – 10 am: La Mesa Middle School band will perform at La Mesa Blvd. and Palm Ave., and the Granger Middle School Jazz Band will perform at La Mesa Blvd. and Date Ave. Spectators are encouraged to dress in patriotic attire and cheer on the participants in this annual parade. La Mesa welcomes all East County residents and their families to share in this free event.