ROCHESTER - Among the 25 floats to grace Rochester's Christmas Parade on Sunday will be one that's sure to tug at the heartstrings of any American, especially those whose family has served their country at home or abroad as a member of our armed forces.
Paula Richey, auxiliary president of Rochester Legion Post #7, and Glenn Hicklin and Bob Hoitt, both Sons of the American Legion members, put together the float, which will depict where family of Post #7 members are serving or have served around the country and around the world.
For those who are currently deployed - far away from home during this special time of year - it will be especially emotional, said Richey.
"This float is for everyone that's serving," she said. "It's aimed toward are veterans and our troops. We want to acknowledge all the family members serving around the world this Christmas."
She said veterans and children will be atop the float holding signs showing where around the globe their family members served in the past or are serving now.
"It could be a dad in Iraq, it could be a mom in Afghanistan, or it could be they're training in California," Richey added.
The parade will also include four marching bands, including a bagpiper group from Portland, Maine, Shriners clowns and equestrians.
The parade's theme this year is "Christmas Around the World" and at last count features some 75 entries and 25 floats, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Laura Ring said earlier this week.
This year's parade, underwritten by Service Credit Union, begins at 3 p.m. at Spaulding High and as usual will run down Wakefield and Union streets before turning onto North and South Main streets and ending at the Common.
Parade organizers are asking those who might come to stay abreast of weather reports that are calling for rain or a wintry mix on Sunday. If inclement weather postpones the parade, it will be held on Monday at 7 p.m.