Parade in town and ceremony in Helen to mark Veterans Day
An annual pair of community Veterans Day observances in St. Mary’s will be on full display again this Sunday, Nov. 11, beginning with a morning parade through Leonardtown, and continuing with an afternoon gathering in Helen.
This year, Leonardtown will recognize the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and a major turning point in the Vietnam War that occurred 50 years ago.
The veterans monument in Helen recently underwent major improvements that will be recognized at this weekend’s event, along with a tradition of following the brief ceremonial program with live music and scalded oysters.
Leonardtown’s 43rd annual Veterans Day parade will begin at 10 a.m., to be followed by a memorial ceremony, and the guest speakers for the two special anniversaries will include Anibal Delgado, a Great Mills High School history teacher and World War I historian, and J. Ernest Bell II, a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and local historian who is scheduled to speak about the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive.
In addition to the waves of color guards, marching bands, first responders, decorated vehicles and public officials lining up each year for the parade route on Fenwick Street, beginning at St. Mary’s Ryken High School, Leonardtown’s observances continually have focused on the people who served in wartime, particularly those whose names are listed on the memorials in the town square, beginning with the first worldwide war from a century ago.
“We have family members, descendants, who are attending to honor their loved ones,” Brandy Blackstone, the town’s public relations and events coordinator, said this week.
Earlier that morning, visitors can get information at the town’s square on programs for veterans and active-duty military members from representatives from Vacations for Vets of St. Mary’s County, Disabled American Veterans, Warfighter Advance, Patuxent River Detachment 1305 of the Marine Corps League and the 29th Infantry Division stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be canceled, and the memorial ceremony will be held on the second floor of Town Hall on Washington Street.
Helping people park in and around Leonardtown and get to the parade also is part of Veterans Day, and Blackstone said a free shuttle service once again will be offered from the St. Mary’s fairgrounds, located off Route 5 south of town, and from the St. Mary’s governmental center off Route 245, specifically at the bus stop located near the flagpoles between the Carter state office building and the Potomac Building. Wheelchair-accessible shuttles will be available at both locations.
The parking lot next to the downtown courthouse on Courthouse Drive is reserved for school buses and shuttles. Washington Street and Fenwick Street leading into downtown will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. until noon, and downtown parking and through traffic will be limited to areas accessible from Lawrence Avenue. Spectators requiring handicapped parking may take Washington Street to a designated public lot.
For more information, call 301-475-9791 or 301475-4200, ext. *1342.
The Veterans of Helen’s 33rd Annual Veteran’s Day Observance Program will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the monument site near the intersection of routes 5 and 238.
The community-oriented program, serving as a patriotic tribute in honor all who have served in the armed forces of the United States, is open to everyone, and Larry D. Hill, the organization’s president and event coordinator, said this week that Sunday’s event will include thanks to the contractors and other contributors who made possible the recent upgrade and expansion of the monument.
“We want to recognize some of the main people that made that happen,” Hill said, in part with a cake depicting the site’s appearance in 1985, the original monument and the new improvements.
Two more stone markers still are needed to join the original pair, he noted, in that “we’ve just about run out of space on the stones that we engrave the names of the veterans on.”
Pro wrestling to return Saturday to Hollywood firehouse
Maryland Championship Wrestling’s 2018 Autumn Armageddon Tour continues this Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Hollywood firehouse, with WWE Hall of Famer “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, former WWE Diva Rosa Mendes and The Boogeyman. If the heavyweight champion belt still belongs to Dante Caballero after a bout today, Friday, in Baltimore County, he’ll defend that title against Greg Excellent.
For more information about the two events, go online to www.mcwprowrestling.com.
Dance Saturday at Chaptico church hall
Swing, promenade, and do-si-do to lively jigs, reels and waltzes at a contra dance to be held this Saturday, Nov. 10, at Christ Episcopal Church’s parish hall in Chaptico. The Southern Maryland Open Band will be playing live acoustic string music, and caller Kim Forry will teach and call the dances. A beginners dance workshop, with no partner required, will start at 7 p.m., and the dance will begin at 7:30. There will be an ice cream social during an intermission.
For directions and more information, go online to www.smtmd.org.
Pet adoption blitz continues through Sunday at stores
Tens of thousands of homeless pets are traveling to nearly all of the 1,600 PetSmart stores across North America for PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend, continuing this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 11, including the St. Mary’s location at 45315 Alton Lane in California.
Four times a year, PetSmart Charities invites more than 3,500 animal welfare partners to bring adoptable pets to nearly every PetSmart store across the continent. This weekend’s adoption blitz presents an ideal time to give a pet the best gift of all, a lifelong and loving home.
The stores are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Poster winners to be announced Nov. 10
The winners of the Lions Club Peace Poster contest will be announced and prizes awarded at an artists reception on Saturday, Nov. 10, starting at 3 p.m. at the Lexington Park library. This year’s theme was “Kindness Matters,” and students ages 11, 12 and 13 created posters to reflect their interpretation of the theme. Winning posters the local competition will be forwarded to the next level of competition in the Lions Club contest. The public is welcomed to join for this ceremony and celebrate the accomplishments of the young artists.
Bells to toll in remembrance
The bells at St. Clement’s Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum will toll on Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. in honor of the 116,516 Americans, including the 27 St. Mary’s County natives, who died in World War I..
Citizens are invited to toll bells in their communities 21 times on Sunday at 11 a.m., according to a release from county government. For more, visit www.ww1cc.org/memorial.