Annual Wausau Memorial Day Parade held Saturday

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WAUSAU, Wis (WSAW) -- On Saturday the City of Wausau held its annual Memorial Day Parade to honor the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the Military.

Organizers of the parade tell NewsChannel 7 roughly 400 people participated in the parade this year, and nearly 300 community members watched along the parade route.

“We have a very patriotic community in Wausau and it’s nice that we are able to get people to cheer during the parade,” stated Paul Missett, Chairman of the Wausau Veterans Committee.

The parade started in Marathon Park at 10:45 a.m. and went down Stewart Avenue ending on River Drive. Many families arrived early to find parking and claim their spots to get the best view.

“We live in Merrill,” explained Lakisha Pollard who came to watch the parade with her two kids and husband. “We came prepared with sunscreen, sun hats, water, and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to help us stay hydrated.”

With not a single cloud in the sky and the weather reaching 77-degrees, attendees felt this was an amazing day to have a parade and officially start their holiday weekend.

“I enjoy seeing the kids run around waving the American flag,” added Brad Behrens who attended the parade with friends and family.

Mayor Mielke participated in the parade and served as this year's keynote speaker for the ceremony held afterward.

"It's important that we recognize what our veterans and our military personnel have done,” stated Mayor Mielke. “Remember freedom isn't free,” he added.