PORTAGE | It lasted only about 10 minutes, so if you came late, you missed it.
Portage hosted its annual Memorial Day parade Monday on Central Avenue, and even though kids picked up a few peppermints and Tootsie Rolls thrown to the sidewalks, some families were a little disappointed with the brevity of the display.
“It was nice but it could have been longer,” said John Antecki, of Portage, “and there were no sirens. My kids love the sirens but the fire trucks and police cars wouldn’t turn them on.”
But there were ORAK Shriners in miniature cars doing figure eights with their fez tassels and raccoon tails tied to antennas blowing in the wind. There were Junior ROTC members stomping their boots in formation and twirling their rifles. And there were VFW and American Legion post members marching or riding for spectators, waving American flags.
Local businesses, Boy Scout troops, senior citizens and, of course, veterans from World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan came out to show their pride, dedication and remembrance for the important national holiday.
“My favorite part was the Portage High School Marching Band,” said Connor Belt, 12, of Portage, who came to see his brother, Noland Belt, a percussion member of the band.
Connor, who himself is a percussionist, said the performance was impressive.
“I thought it was pretty cool. They had instruments I didn’t expect to see, like quad drums,” he said.
Their mother, Rebecca Belt, said the band had practiced for weeks to prepare for the parade.
Michele Ashby, of Portage Township, also said the marching band gave a good performance, as she came to see her granddaughter Zoe Spencer perform on flute.
But for Mya Costa, 9, of Portage, the parade meant one thing, in addition to a way to celebrate the day with her family.
“Candy!” she said.