Beverly Hills Memorial Day parade and carnival to return

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 24, 2017

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BEVERLY HILLS — The village of Beverly Hills will be showing its patriotic side for its annual Memorial Day parade and carnival Monday, May 29.

The parade and carnival have become a long-standing tradition in the community and are a point of pride.

“This is the 36th annual Memorial Day parade and carnival in Beverly Hills,” said Janice Hausman, one of the event organizers and a member of the Women’s Club. “It was originally founded by the Village Women’s Club of Beverly Hills. About 10 years ago, it was taken over by the village and (the) parks and (recreation) board because the Women’s Club didn’t have the manpower for it.”

Those organizing the festivities said it is a careful task to make the day both enjoyable and respectful, being a holiday celebrating those who died in service to the United States.

“It is Memorial Day, so it’s a remembrance,” said Beverly Hills Assistant Village Manager Ellen Marshall. “It is a fun, family event, but you don’t want to lose the real meaning. I think it’s a good tribute for those who sacrificed their lives for us, but also an opportunity for those in Beverly Hills to remember and honor them.”

The day will begin with the parade, which will make its way through the Beverly Hills community and will conclude at the site of the carnival. The parade will take place regardless of the weather.

“It starts at Groves High School, on Evergreen Road and 13 Mile Road, at 11 a.m. and goes north on Evergreen and east on Beverly Road and ends in Beverly Park,” said Hausman. “The Groves marching band will be in it, and we’ll have a 92-year-old Beverly Hills resident who is a World War II veteran as our grand marshal. The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will be in the parade, as well as others, like bagpipers and the Attitude Steel Drum Band. There will also be village dignitaries and village officials, as well as emergency responders.”

The veteran chosen as grand marshal is Beverly Hills resident Ken Dondy.

“Ken is an Army Air Force veteran,” explained parade organizer Patty Wainer. “He is a 56-year resident of Beverly Hills. We’re honoring our veterans for Memorial Day, so we wanted to honor our World War II veterans.”

The carnival will kick off as soon as the parade ends.

“The carnival starts when the parade ends at Beverly Park,” explained Hausman. “There will be food trucks — like Motor City Franks, Chicken Shack, Ned’s Travelburger and Kona Ice. There will be carnival-style rides, a maze and games. Several community groups will be bringing some chance games. At 1 p.m., we have a Memorial Day commemoration at the flagpole, and there will be a short talk about why we celebrate the day and honor our grand marshal, as well as the other veterans in attendance.”

The festivities are organized so that anyone who wants to take part can be included.

“In some ways, it hasn’t changed much in its 36 years because it is such a tradition,” remarked Hausman. “In Beverly Hills, basically anyone who wants to be in the parade can join in. I have a friend whose father is a veteran, and he marches in the parade even though he’s not a Beverly Hills resident. We want anyone who wants to be a part of this fun day to be able to.”

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