For more than 30 years, the Sgt. Charles A. Fricke VFW Post 805 and the Post 805 Auxiliary have hosted O’Fallon’s annual Veterans Day parade.
The parade begins near the O’Fallon Community Park at the corner of Fifth and Park streets at the Katy Cavins Community Center and ends at the end of East First Street.
“This year seemed quite a bit longer than last year,” O’Fallon Police patrolman Benjamin Sosa said.
With streets littered with young and old, spirits were high as floats supporting local civic, government, sports and military groups drove by the cheering parade goers.
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Sue Ellen Choate and a canine companion named Narnia, 8-month-old Labrador/Golden Retriever cross, were posted in front of City Hall at 255 S. Lincoln Ave.
“We come every year with different canines in training because it’s great to expose the puppies to the loud noises and sounds of horns, sirens and bells,” Choate said.
Choate raises canines for Canine Companions for Indepedance, a non-profit organization that helps those with disabilities in need of service companionship.
Jamie Blessing-Calcarone said she was excited to come to the parade with her husband and children. She is an active military member of the United States Air Force.
“I served in Iraq for a year, but now I’m back and work at the base,” Blessing-Calcarone said as her son Vincent, 3, waved his complimentary American Flag during the parade.
Retired USAF member of 20 years Dave Lunning, of O’Fallon, said he’s set up a chair to take photographs and watch the parade for years.
“It’s nice. It brings people together,” Lunning said, as Kevin Hagarty and Matt Gilreath, both Ward 3 aldermen for the city, passed by standing in the back of a truck bed waving at attendees.