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Best Turnout Yet: Fifth Annual BCSO/VMC July Fourth Parade on Merritt Island


Although the morning was very warm and few clouds protected participants and spectators from the July sun, the Fifth Annual Independence Day Parade on Merritt Island was the best attended ever.

Well over 200 entries took about an hour to parade along the 1.3 mile route often passing spectators several deep which numbered in the several thousand decked out with patriotic garb and carrying and waving many flags. 

The Parade is co-sponsored by Sheriff Ivey and the BCSO team, with Lindsey Deaton of BCSO Special Charities as the primary organizer.  This year’s parade was not only the most in collective numbers, but also very well organized thanks to Lindsey and dozens of BCSO members who organized the start and finish and blocked every possible intersection along the usually busy Courtnay Pkwy in both directions for the Merritt Island HS start point to Edgewood Jr/Sr HS on Merritt.

The Veterans Memorial Center is co-sponsor of the event and this year over 300, including many children came to the VMC for free food and to cool off in the heat museum and Gray Hall.  Thanks to Kim and Garret Cone of AVET for arranging the food and much more, including a kids fishing session as well as the Lonnie and Delinda Beach Band for great patriotic music and the MI BSA Troop for great desserts at their bake sale. 

The MOAACC entry was led by President Brian Whalen and his wife Liz being escorted by Donn and Jeanne Weaver in their convertible. Jose Prieto and his wife Lupe Soto used their truck and trailer to drive the indomitable WWII Veteran 98 years old George Rosenfield,  escorted by Gary Eppler on the Trailer.  George was a great hit using his special WWII and Korean War Vet sign.

VMC was led by Dean and Susan Schaaf in their new red GMC with the VMC Eagle Costume on the back in scarecrow fashion.  VMC tenant units including CCNC/WAA, SAR/DAR, American Legion, Legion Auxiliary, Marine Corps League and more made for a very large and record veteran unit participation.

Dean and Susan Schaaf in Lead VMC Vehicle

WWII and Korean War Veteran George Rosenfield (lt blue) ready top Board the MOAACC Trailer with Gary Eppler. Jose Prieto  and Brian Whalen assisting.
Donn and Jeanne Weaver drive MOAACC President Brian and Liz Whalen as parade begins.
Parade Underway —  Note mini Sub and WWII Jeep in front of MOAACC entry
Neon CRM by Neon One