The Willow Run Rosie the Riveter Drill Team marches in the 2018 St. Clair Shores Memorial Day parade.

The Willow Run Rosie the Riveter Drill Team marches in the 2018 St. Clair Shores Memorial Day parade.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Musical acts take the stage for 67th annual Memorial Day parade

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 17, 2019

 Despite the hot sun, the crowd takes in the parade near 11 Mile Road in 2018.

Despite the hot sun, the crowd takes in the parade near 11 Mile Road in 2018.

File photo by Donna Agusti

Advertisement

ST. CLAIR SHORES — There’ll be dancing in the streets when this year’s St. Clair Shores Memorial Day parade hits Jefferson Avenue with musical acts galore.

The parade steps off at Jefferson Avenue and Nine Mile Road at 1 p.m. May 26, but this year, the party starts earlier for parade watchers, who will be able to hear entertainment from one of four musical acts scattered along the route beginning at 12:15 p.m.

Out of the more than 20 musical entries in this year’s parade, four will be performing for 10-12 minutes in different locations along Jefferson Avenue: The Contours will play their hits “First I Look at the Purse” and “Do You Love Me” at Wahby Park; Toby Keith tribute artist Mike Sugg will perform patriotic songs near Nine Mile Road; Las Vegas-style entertainer Mike Carluccio will play near 11 Mile Road; and the Joey Vee Band will perform at Stephens Road.

Lineup chair Dave Rubello said that the Sailing Thru the Shores 5K race is taking a hiatus this year, so they wanted to give parade watchers something to see when they stake out their spots along the route.

“There’s thousands of people on the street, and we’re giving them something to look at,” he said.

The acts will perform and then make their way back to Nine Mile Road to get ready to be in the parade. Having such great musical acts in the parade, Rubello said, he wanted to make sure that visitors got a chance to hear them perform for a little longer than just as they pass on by along the 2-mile route.

In addition, this year’s parade will include the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, three different motorcycle groups — the Great Lakes Riding Club, Throttle Angels, and the Michigan Dressers M/C and Godfather Racing — giving a “thunderous beginning to the parade,” skydivers, and “the most military entries ... that we’ve ever had of any parade in St. Clair Shores,” Rubello said, including the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and Pearl Harbor survivor Russell Shields.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Thomas Tomlinson, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, who also served as national vice commander of the Disabled American Veterans, head of the Department of Veterans Affairs for Macomb County, and as a St. Clair Shores City Council member in the 1960s.

Jefferson Avenue will be shut down beginning at 12:15 p.m. May 26.

Parade Committee Chair Cheryl Furdos said that the parade wouldn’t happen every year without support from the mayor, City Council and residents.

Other entries in the parade include the 5th Michigan Regiment Band, a Civil War band; Luke Witkowski, of the Detroit Red Wings; Detroit Tigers 1984 pitcher Dave Rozema; the National Cherry Queen from Traverse City; and LaMont Robinson, a former Harlem Globetrotter and CEO of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame.

“It promises to be the biggest and best one ever,” Rubello said. “You won’t be disappointed. It’s definitely a place that you want to stay that weekend. Don’t go away, don’t go on vacation — stay in St. Clair Shores, because we’ve got everyone coming.”

Mayor Kip Walby commended the Parade Committee members May 6 for their work on this year’s event.

“Sixty-seven years we’ve been doing this,” he said. “It’s great to see the parade every year. It’s a yearlong project. We’re proud of the work that we do.”

Advertisement