Honoring Old Soldiers

Today was one of our favorite summer events, the Old Soldier’s Day Parade in Alpharetta. The day starts out with a fun run and a program then wraps up with the parade. We never get out early enough for the program, but we do enjoy the parade.

The parade got its informal start right after the Civil War. Veterans of that war would take off a week from farming in the August heat and bivouac right outside of Alpharetta. At then end of the week, they would walk down Main Street and greet all the people who lined up to see them. When the oldest of the Civil War veterans began to die off the younger World War I veterans were invited to join them. As they got older, the encampment kind of fizzled out of existence. In the 1950s, Alpharetta decided to revive the tradition and hold an official parade. Since it’s not a holiday and no one else is having a parade, there are lots of entries. There’s usually four or five high school marching bands, veterans groups from all over, historic groups (Sons, Daughters and Children of the Revolution and the Confederacy), current military and lots of Shriners with their comical vehicles.

And candy. By the pound. We weigh it every year and this year’s haul was 3 1/2 pounds.

Katy with her bag of loot

Anyone looking for a camper?

Or a wagon?

I love the fez on wheels.

Katy was impressed with these ladies.

And it wouldn’t be an Old Soldiers’ Day Parade without a few old soldiers.

We haven’t been in a few years, but at the end of the parade you can walk up to the American Legion building and get a free hot dog and drink from The Varsity.

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