Gig Line: A special treat in March

Published 5:31 pm Sunday, January 16, 2022

ATTENTION VETERANS! After two years of Covid-19 throwing a wrench in Mike Kelly’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, he will again host the fun event on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 1 p.m. The parade will encompass a one mile stretch on Virginia Dare Trail starting at Bladen Street (MP 11) heading north and ending at Driftwood Street.

If you’ve never attended in the past, please mark your calendars, and try to support the event. Mike Kelly has been dedicated to planning, hosting and executing this event that is not only fun but that also brings attention to our veterans who typically lead the parade behind the police.

Even though the event is a couple of months away, I wanted you to know as a veteran or veteran supporter that the Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950; the American Legion Post 26, the OBX Marine Corps League #1264 and the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council will be involved and in a position at the front and all veterans who are able to walk along, ride on the trailer or participate in some way are invited to join in!

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Naturally, in keeping with the theme but organizing the parade with a priority for safety, placement of vehicles, floats and trailers (to pull them), walkers, etc., it takes a tremendous amount of work to bring it all together. Mike, along with his “right hand” Mary Ann, have successfully pulled this event off for many years (aside from the last two due to Covid restrictions) and isn’t it about time we get out of our Covid “hiding” places into the fresh air and enjoy the fruits of their labor? And to sit or stand on the sidelines and cheer and wave our beautiful U.S. flags when our vets ride or walk by?

Witnessing the men and woman who have not only served our nation stateside but in wars far, far from home sacrificing so much is a true honor; clapping for them and just showing them (you) how much you mean to us all is a joy. To be a part of it is absolutely worth your time. Little kids delight in the funny moving displays, painted faces, quirky and creative floats and costumes and just the fun of it all is something to look forward to.

The little kids are happy, the teenagers laugh and eagerly await one float after another and the older folks? They’re energized and proud, especially when they see veterans being celebrated (and acknowledged) up front. Whether attendees stand and lean against the side of their car or each other or hold onto their walkers and canes, they’re thrilled. If you observe discreetly, you may notice that some folks simply tear up seeing the Color Guard (I always do) and inside me I feel it. I feel the love for our vets. I feel proud to be an American and of course I miss my U.S. Army Vietnam veteran husband being in the parade himself or at my side.

But let’s not forget the primary recognition of St. Patrick’s Day that the parade commemorates. The internet describes it as “the feast day of St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland.” Across our nation we customarily see a lot of green – green clothing and spectacle, images of leprechauns, pots of gold and rainbows. But whether you’re a native of Ireland, a lover of that beautiful country of their historical cultur or you just enjoy the whole celebration in general, you aren’t by yourself.

On another note, as a veteran, you’re invited to contact our V.F.W. Post 10950 (V.F.W. local contact cell# 252-305-6681 for info about membership, etc.); the OBX American Legion Post 26 (sorry, no contact # is available at this writing); the OBX Marine Corps League @1264 (direct contact # not currently available) however you can reach out to: info@marinevetsobx.org and/or call a Dare County Veterans Advisory Council member, (as council secretary, you’re welcome to call my cell #252-202-2058 or call Veteran Service Officer Patty O’Sullivan, office #252-475-5604) to let us know you’re interested in taking part. Whatever the case, we’ll put you in touch with those amazing veteran groups, then later you’ll be enlightened as to where to meet, time, etc. before the day of the parade.

We’re all due for some fun – agree? Outside, space between us and masks on, but doing something besides worrying over this darned Covid! Wouldn’t that be nice? In advance of the event, kudos to Mike and Mary Ann for all they do to make it happen. Countless people of all ages both residents and visitors alike thoroughly enjoy the parade, so I hope you and your family/friends will, too! Positive thoughts for a great weather day and that tons of contributors and bystanders enjoy the results of Mike and Mary Ann’s good and generous work.

Also, on another note and just to remind everyone, our Dare County Veteran’s Advisory Council meet every fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. (except for December when we don’t meet). The public is invited and always welcome to attend our meetings to learn more of our goals and what we have accomplished as a devoted council to our veterans already and to give you an opportunity to offer input, suggestions and comments as to what/how you think we can assist our veteran community even further. Meetings are held at the Dare County Administrative Building, located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Room 168 (downstairs where voting typically takes place).

Until next time everybody, be healthy, safe and happy! Look for the good in others and in yourself, too! Pray for our deployed troops far from their home and loved ones who wait for “their” military men and women’s safe return.

Thank you for reading Gig Line and please write to me at giglineheroes@aol.com if you have a comment, a question or if you just want to talk. You matter to me as do your thoughts, stories and general feedback. Also, check out giglineheroes.com, too, for a lot of past writings. Love you all, I truly do. God bless you and those you love. Take care and stay tuned!

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