Last year, VFW Post 10818, American Legion Post 80 and the City of New Richmond celebrated Loyalty Day with a series of small events culminating in a flag retirement ceremony and presentation in Mary Park. This year, New Richmond will not only hold a bigger event, it will host the 2015 Wisconsin Loyalty Day Parade on Saturday, April 25, at 2 p.m.

“This is a very important event for us since it is the first time it has been held in St. Croix County,” said VFW Post 10818 past Commander and Loyalty Day Parade Chairman Dave Green. “However, we are finding that most people don’t know what Loyalty Day is. We really want to get the information out so that more people will come to the event and make it something special.”

This year’s theme for the Wisconsin Loyalty Day Parade is “Veterans, We Have Your Back.”

The first Loyalty Day Parade observed in Wisconsin was held in Madison, in 1917. In 1958 Congress enacted Public Law 529 proclaiming Loyalty Day a permanent fixture on the nation’s calendar. Loyalty Day began as a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom. While honoring the past, the parade committee of VFW Post 10818 is taking the event into the future and creating opportunities.

“As we know, lives get busy, and with the onset of technologies, we are all so busy so we forget the observance of these, what might be considered offset holidays, get lost in the shuffle,” said Loyalty Day parade event coordinator Scottie Ard. “This one is extraordinarily important. Next to the Fourth of July, we should be looking at Loyalty Day as the next big event, simply because it honors not just the veterans, EMS or police, it honors every American and every individual no matter how small your contribution to support and defend this nation.”

The state parade is just one part of the a whole day’s worth of events going on in the New Richmond community. It also includes a breakfast at the American Legion Post 80 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., the New Richmond Heritage Center pavilion and barn are opening (a month earlier than usual) and a banquet/program at Ready Randy’s starting at 5 p.m.

“This is the first time this event has reached beyond the community with the post that is hosting it,” Ard said. “We have utilized and embraced electronic media to get the word out on social media to involve other agencies. That has not be done previously.”

According to Ard, the event will also feature Battery B of the 4th Artillery Regiment, which will start the parade with a bang.

“They are a Civil War reenactment and they have a cannon that they are bringing and will use to start the parade off,” said Green.

One problem that the parade organizers ran into right away was the fact that the parade starts just an hour before the New Richmond High School students are set to start the Grand March at the high school. However, with help from the community and dedication from some students, the high school, as well as the middle school, will still be represented. Both the high school and middle school marching bands will have representatives taking part in the parade to some extent, Ard said.

“If just one person from every home and every business in New Richmond would volunteer one hour to this event, and every other event that is held in New Richmond throughout the year, then Rob Kreibich and I would not be running around like we do for volunteers,” Ard said. “We have so many people in this community that if everyone gave just a little all the events we could make amazing things happen.”

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Loyalty Day parade, or any other event held in New Richmond throughout the year, should call Scottie Ard at 715-338-6064 or contact the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce at 715-246-2900.

“We were chosen to bring this event to New Richmond this year and it is a great honor,” Ard said.

Show Your Colors

New Richmond District 3 Alderperson Scottie Ard is asking that every home and business in New Richmond display an American flag this week to welcome visitors coming to town for the city’s Loyalty Day celebration.

Loyalty Day 2015 Schedule of Events

April 24-May 1

 • Judging - Patriotic Business Window Display and Home Decorating Contest

April 25

• 7:30-10:30 a.m.: Breakfast – American Legion Post 80 (1245 Wall St.); Biscuits and gravy, chip beef and gravy on biscuits, omelets, fruit, desserts and beverages. $8 per person.

• 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m.: New Richmond Heritage Center – Loyalty Day Special Sale in the Pavilion, all items $.10. The Barn will open for the season and tours of the Heritage Center are available upon request.

• 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.: JRose Massage (1237 N. Knowles Ave.) Loyalty Day Give Back – Veteran and their families receive a 10-15 minute massage on us. First come basis, no appointment necessary.

• 11 a.m.: Welcome centers open – VFW Post 10818 (421 S. Green Ave.); American Legion Post 80 (1245 Wall St.)

• 11:30 a.m.: Parade check in opens (N. High St.)

• 1:30 p.m.: Knowles Ave. closes to traffic.

• 1:45 p.m.: Presentation of proclamations at review stand (Fourth Street and South Knowles Avenue)

• 2 p.m.: Parade step off

• 4 p.m.: Retirement of flag and parade awards (WITC-New Richmond campus)

• 5 p.m.: Loyalty Day banquet and program (Ready Randy’s, 1490 131st St.); $15 per seat. Please reserve by April 24 for guaranteed seating. Call 715-338-6064 to make a reservation.