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Services, parties mark Memorial Day

Festivities include a parade in Crystal River, a flyover, rifle salutes, flag ceremonies and picnics throughout the county.

By JORGE SANCHEZ, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 24, 2002

Citrus County will celebrate Memorial Day with services at most veterans organizations, and a parade is planned in Crystal River.

The parade begins at 10:15 a.m. Saturday in front of the Military Outlet store, 550 N Citrus Ave., Crystal River. The parade route goes south on Citrus Avenue to Third Street and ends at the Crystal River cemetery.

Parade organizer Chris Gregoriou said the parade plans were given to him at the last minute, and he will only have a few VFW color guards participating.

"I'm hoping that we'll be able to start small this year and keep building this parade up until it's as big as the Christmas parade," he said. Area veterans' groups will have services and parties to commemorate Memorial Day. The holiday to honor the memories of soldiers who died in war was formally adopted as a national holiday in 1968 by Congress. The tradition of honoring war dead began shortly after the Civil War.

The following service organizations will have Memorial Day events.

VFW POST 10087, 2170 W Vets Lane, Beverly Hills. The post will mark the graves of veterans at Fero Memorial Gardens Cemetery with American flags. The cemetery is at 5891 N Lecanto Highway (County Road 491). A Memorial Day service begins at 10 a.m. with speakers, a rifle salute and taps. A picnic at the post home starts at noon with hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage hoagies. Public is invited. Call 746-0440.

VFW Post 4864, 10199 N Citrus Springs Blvd., Citrus Springs. The post is having a Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. with guest speakers, an honor guard and a rifle salute. The picnic will have free hot dogs, hamburgers, beans, salad and cole slaw. Public invited. Also, the post is having an open house Saturday and Sunday. Call (342) 465-4864.

VFW 4337, 906 State Road 44 E, Inverness, will have a Memorial Day service at 11 a.m., which will include flag raising, taps and a 21-gun salute. The post will host a cookout from 1 to 4 p.m. Call 344-3495.

VFW Post 7122, 8191 U.S. 41 S, Floral City. The post will have a Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. Following a flag-raising, post commander Peggy Peardon will deliver an invocation and an honor guard will fire a rifle salute. The post will have a party with barbecue chicken, fried turkey and hot dogs beginning at 2 p.m. Music will be from 2 to 6 p.m. with J&J Express, followed by karaoke. Call 637-0100.

VFW Post 4252, 3190 N Carl G Rose (State Road 200), Hernando. A Memorial Day service will be held at the post at noon. Call 726-3339.

VFW Post 8189, 8856 W Veterans Drive, Homosassa. Memorial Day service at 1 p.m., with a flag ceremony. A covered dish dinner will be held at the post beginning at 1 p.m. Donations will be accepted for the World War II Memorial. Call 795-5012.

American Legion Post 155, State Road 44 E Crystal River. A service is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday with guest speakers to include Crystal River mayor Ron Kitchen. Call 795-6526.

Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102 Ave., Bushnell. Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Monday. The guest speaker will be Albert Lindon, past national commander of Disabled American Veterans. Special music, a wreath laying and a flyover are also scheduled. Call (352) 793-7740. Bring a chair or blanket. Take I-75 to Exit 309 and follow the signs.

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