Memorial Day parade in Cuyahoga Falls canceled; ceremony still planned

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
A Cuyahoga Falls Fire engine is pictured at the Memorial Day parade in 2019. Due to COVID-19, the event has been canceled for the second consecutive year.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — For the second consecutive year, the Memorial Day parade in the city has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parade committee chairman Dave Sebastian said organizers decided to call off the event due to the state's COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events.

Although the state is allowing outdoor events such as festivals, graduations and sporting events to occur, Ohioans should keep their groups to 10 people or fewer, health department director Stephanie McCloud said.

The Knights of Columbus participates in the 2019 Memorial Day parade in Cuyahoga Falls. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade has been canceled for the second consecutive year. The ceremony at Oakwood Cemetery will happen on May 31 at 11 a.m.

The good news is that the ceremony that typically follows the parade will happen this year after it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Memorial Day ceremony at Oakwood Cemetery will take place on May 31 at 11 a.m.

"The ceremony will be open to all veterans and [members of the] public who wish to attend," Sebastian said.

Participants and attendees will have to wear masks at the event, according to Sebastian. Due to social distancing requirements, the bleachers will not be set up, and attendees should bring a lawn chair.

"Social distancing [can occur] around the Veterans section for all who will attend," Sebastian said. "…That's manageable and we can certainly do that."

Sharon McClain of American Legion Post 281 speaks during the Memorial Day ceremony at Oakwood Cemetery. After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the ceremony will take place this year on May 31 at 11 a.m.

Attendees should also bring their own water because bottled water will not be handed out as it normally is at the program. In addition, portable toilets will not be set up.

Sebastian said the program will follow the same format as it has in past years. A service member who fought in the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) will speak as part of an observance of the 30th anniversary of that conflict. Mayor Don Walters will also speak.

Other details for the ceremony are still being worked on and will be announced soon.

Sebastian said he is looking forward to marking the 90th anniversary of the parade in 2022.

Editor's note: Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Jessie Balmert contributed to this story.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.