Oakland Memorial Day parade and ceremony go on despite rain (2024)

The weather did not hamper crowd enthusiasm. (photo by Wally McKenney)

by Mark Huard

For the past three years since the pandemic, the Oakland American Legion Post #51 has directed the Annual Memorial Day parade which is one of the largest in Central Maine. Veterans lined the front of the parade to local school bands, classic cars, military vehicles, Police and Fire departments, Shriners and among many others. Each year they are looking for more to participate. Any groups are encouraged to contact the post for next year’s attendance.

The Kora Drifters are a parade unit of the Kora Shrine, in Lewiston. The Drifters were started by Bernie Fortin, of Vassalboro, in 2018, and have since expanded to 14 members. They raise funds for the Shriners hospitals, in Massachusetts, and all money raised goes to those charities. Any other expenses they pay out-of-pocket. They are known for their distinctive bright green colors and love to entertain. The Shriners are currently scheduled to parade in 27 different events this year, to include Maine’s largest festivals such as the Clam Festival, the Moxie Festival, and the Lobster Festival. Really what you have is 14 guys dedicated to supporting child patients at the hospitals. With the added bonus of making people happy at the same time. On Memorial Day they participated in parades in Oakland, Skowhegan, and Old Orchard Beach.

Tracey Frost riding in the Memorial Day Parade. (photo by Galen Neal, Central Maine Photography)


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