Sharpsburg prepares for 145th Memorial Day Commemoration

May 25, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Sharpsburg officials have been preparing all week for the 145th Sharpsburg Memorial Day commemoration.
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Journalist

SHARPSBURG, Md. — Sharpsburg officials have been preparing all week for Saturday’s 145th Sharpsburg Memorial Day commemoration.

The event, which usually draws between 8,000 and 10,000 people, will include a memorial ceremony and a Memorial Day parade.

“We’ve got all the bands lined up, and we got all the flags up Wednesday night,” Sharpsburg Vice-Mayor Bryan Gabriel said Friday. “We’re getting our grandstand ready down at the square.”

More than 90 organizations in the area are scheduled to be featured in the parade. On Friday, American flags were hanging on poles and houses up and down both sides of Main Street.

Although the wreaths for the memorial ceremony still had to be brought out, and the wagon used for the grandstand still had to be decorated, the town was down to just a few last-minute preparations, Gabriel said.

“We’ve got everything lined up,” he said. “Most of the stuff we got done over the week.”

The Sharpsburg Lions Club will be selling food at Sharpsburg Elementary School, and Main Street will be closed off for three hours beginning at 11 a.m., Gabriel said.

Town Clerk Kimberly Faulk has been responsible for coordinating sponsorships and advertisements for the event, as well as assisting with preparations for the laying of  wreaths.

“People from places like Ohio and Pennsylvania want to come to the parade,” she said. “It’s fun to see everybody getting ready.”

Faulk, 33, has taken part in the parade over the years, marching as a student at Sharpsburg  Elementary School, a drum major in the marching band at Boonsboro Middle School and as a trombone player in the marching band at Boonsboro High School.

“This has been a tradition of our town and families, and it’s nice to see so many people come out and support the town,” she said. “I loved the excitement of being able to come through Main Street. It was an adrenaline rush.”

Town residents also were looking forward to the event.

Brenda Gabriel, 49, said she has attended the parade every year of her life.

“It’s just tradition,” she said. “When you were a child it was always exciting because you could eat and play with kids all day.”

Judy Spielman, who lives at 114 E. Main St., which will be closed, said she has no problem with the commotion that comes with the parade.

“You get to see everything because we’re beside the square,” she said. “It’s nice we can do this to honor all those that gave their lives and are still fighting for freedom.”

The commemoration is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. with a wreath-laying ceremony at Town Square.

The Rohrersville Band will put on a concert from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and the parade is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.

A service will then be held at Antietam National Cemetery at 3 p.m.

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