Around F.C., Arts & Entertainment, News

38th Annual Memorial Day Fete & Parade Will Bring 10,000 to Falls Church Monday


Mild Weather in Store, Food Drive Launched Again

A 12-page special insert in this week’s edition of the News-Press, functioning as an official guide to Monday’s 38th Annual Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and Festival, spells out the full range of activities that are expected to draw over 10,000 non-residents to the City for that day. The entire day will center around the solemn annual Memorial Day remembrance service scheduled for 11 a.m. in front of the Community Center.

The weather forecast is for one of the milder Memorial Days in memory, with high temperatures in the low 70s, and a remote chance of some rain showers.

Among the special features of the day are the array of exhibits, food and craft vendors and community groups who will have their booths set up around City Hall, the early risers’ Don Beyer Volvo 5K Fun Run, the musical entertainment on the portable stage set up in the intersection of Park and Maple, and the parade, itself, set to kick off at 2 p.m. from the northwest end of Park Avenue.

The also marks the launch of the annual News-Press and Diener and Associates CPAs food drive that extends through July 4. Everybody is urged to fill a grocery bag with non-perishable food items and bring them to the News-Press booth in the City Hall parking lot during the day. The food will be delivered to the Food for Others based in Merrifield which provides free meals at 14 locations throughout Northern Virginia every day. Following Monday, the drive will continue with drop boxes located at a half dozen locations around Falls Church, including the offices of the News-Press at 200 Little Falls St., Suite 508, Diener and Associates, 123 Rowell Court, the Community Center, 223 Little Falls, Art and Frame of Falls Church, 105 Park Avenue, the Unity Club, 124 W. Broad St. and Don Beyer Volvo, 1050 W. Broad St.

Also the News-Press booth Monday will be the site for the annual “Wacky Hat Contest,” as fun-loving folks are encouraged to design and show up with their best “wacky hat” to be photographed for the News-Press, with the winners taking away gift certificates to a local restaurant.

A major presence at this year’s festival is expected from candidates seeking election to public office this November. With a June 11 filing deadline looming, candidates for the Falls Church City Council and School Board will be viewing the festival as a bonanza opportunity to solicit petition signatures of City residents to qualify for the ballot. It will be a great chance to see who’s made any late decisions to jump into the fray.

Woven in between the dance and band troupes in the parade will be an abundance of elected officials, local Little League baseball players, bagpipers, cheerful volunteers from local civic associations, and those adorable Kena Lodge Shriner putt-putt cars with drivers often bigger than their cars working their flawless figure-eights and other routines. Look for Falls Church City Treasurer Cathy Kaye to be flaunting her massive red Galaxy 500 convertible. The parade grand marshals, this year the City’s legendary two crossing guards, Audrey Luthman and Janet Haines, and king and queen chosen by students at George Mason High School, Cal Hannan and Kelly Ready, will greet everybody at the front end of the parade. Special feature stories on the marshals and Mason royalty are in the guide to the festival in the center of this issue.

Crowds are expected to line the length of Park Avenue from where the parade kicks off at its corner with N. West Street, to past the intersection of Little Falls in front of City Hall, where the judges will be stationed to select winners in a number of categories for the parade participants and Falls Church’s own Gary Reals, long of Channel 9 news reporting fame, will be back this year with microphone in hand to introduce the crowd to the various parade entries as they pass.

The Falls Church Memorial Day Program from the News-Press is below: