CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Camillus brought back the longest running Memorial Day Parade in Onondaga County on Monday. However, organizers were faced with some challenges.
“Camillus for decades has always been a very patriotic town, and so we enjoy doing it,” says Don Laxton, parade committee chairman.
However, for the past two years organizers couldn’t host the parade because of the pandemic, and this year they were faced with another challenge.
“Our fundraising was down. Normally our fundraising is stellar and money just pours in, which allows us to pay for the parade,” says Laxton.
Organizers rely strictly on donations, and they usually start collecting money as early as January. However, with the parade just a month away, organizers knew they were in trouble.
“We were down, yup. So we geared up and started a communications program and eventually folks caught on,” says Laxton.
After being down more than 70 percent in donations, organizers were able to raise just enough money in time to hold the parade, all thanks to some last minute donors. The parade brought in many people, young and old, and they say they’re excited for the parade to be back.
“We’ve been so cooped up for so long that this is just a breath of fresh air being able to get out and come out with my daughter and see my son go in the parade. It’s really nice,” says Brittany Woolshlager, a resident of Camillus.
Organizers say this year’s parade is different compared to previous years, because of a smaller crowd. However, organizers are certain they’ll be 100 percent back to normal next year.