Rutland gets ready for Loyalty Day parade

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(Host) It’ll be a busy weekend in Rutland. Military re-enactors will present a living history encampment on Saturday while thousands are expected on Sunday for the 43rd annual Loyalty Day parade.

VPR’s Nina Keck has more.

(Keck) Rutland’s past – both near and distant will come alive this weekend. At 2 p.m. on Sunday the city will host the state’s largest parade – the 43rd annual Loyalty Day Parade, sponsored by the Rutland Veterans of Foreign Wars. Jim Davidson, curator of Rutland’s Historical Society, says the origins of the parade date back to the late 1950s.

(Davidson) “It began during the Cold War era when the Russian Communists would have their May Day parade, many of the veterans said we should have our own parade for democracy. And so that was the genesis.”

(Keck) Vermont National Guard Major General Michael Dubie will be this year’s parade marshall. Organizers say Sunday’s parade is dedicated to all the soldiers from the Rutland area who have been involved in military operations in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

More distant military history will be on display Saturday in Rutland. Re-enactors specializing in the American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War will put on demonstrations in Main Street Park.

There will also be live music, historical walking tours and two lectures at the Rutland historical society. One will highlight 24 soldiers from Rutland who fought in the Civil War. The other will focus on civil war medicine. The events are all part of the city’s second annual History Days celebrations.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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