Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade Canceled Because of Weather Forecast with “50% Chance of a Thunderstorm”

Memorial Day is three days away, but the 2015 Arlington Heights Memorial Day parade has been canceled by the parade organizer because of concerns about severe weather and the potential for wasted expenses to participating units if the parade were to be canceled immediately before the scheduled date and time.

Arlington Heights Police Department has also sent out a notice that the Arlington Heights Memorial Day parade has been canceled for Monday May 25, 2015.

The Memorial Day ceremony traditionally held at the end of the parade at Memorial Park is still scheduled, but will be moved inside to the Grace gymnasium at Christian Liberty Academy, 502 W. Euclid Avenue with a start time of 11:00 a.m.

A long period of chance thunderstorms (in the 30-50 percent range) is forecast from about 1:00 p.m. Sunday through all of Monday and Tuesday.

Following is a letter from parade organizer Greg Padovani …

Dear Veterans, Friends and Neighbors:

Based on the weather forecasts for Monday, May 25, 2015, we have had to make some VERY tough decisions…

#1 – CANCEL THE 2015 MEMORIAL DAY PARADE: It breaks my heart to cancel the Parade, but we MUST consider the safety of our parade participants and viewers. As it stands now, the weather forecasts (all three models) indicate sprinkles of rain throughout the morning (not so bad), but a 50% chance of a thunderstorm from 9 am to 10 am (the very time of the Parade).

I take full responsibility for this decision. In making it, I considered the following:

– We have ~3,500 people marching in the parade. Of these, approximately 1,500 are kids and many others are senior veterans. If we were to assemble them at the beginning of the parade OR if we were to begin marching, they would be exposed to a storm. There simply would not be enough buildings to shelter this many people. Even if there were, the resulting confusion would heighten the danger to everyone.

– The decision to cancel EARLY will allow all of our parade units to opt out of their contacts for buses, etc – without charge. If we were to wait until Saturday or Sunday to cancel, most of these units would be required pay the full contract. We estimate that the savings to individual units will be approximately $5,000 to $6,000.

The sad part is that we had so many great things planned for the parade – the “THANK YOU VETERANS” signs especially.

The Arlington Hts Chamber of Commerce had 3,000 of THANK YOU VETERANS signs printed. You can see them in windows around town. For the parade, teams of volunteers would pass out the signs to parade viewers along the entire 1.25 mile route with the instructions to hold the sign up and yell THANK YOU when the veterans and military units passed by. Veterans from all over were coming to Arlington Hts to experience the well deserved THANK YOUs for their service.

The GOOD NEWS is that we will store these signs for use in our 2016 Memorial Day Parade. We ask that anyone who has a sign now, please store these for future use.

#2 – The 2015 MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY will be moved inside to the Christian Liberty Academy gym (see MAP).

Our deepest thanks to the Christian Liberty Academy (CLA) for their support and help on this major effort! CLA is in the former Arlington High School. CLA is just one short block North and one short block WEST of Memorial Park.

The Ceremony will start at 11 am (sharp) and will be conducted that same as if it were outdoors at Memorial Park.

Inside the gym, CLA will setup all the bleachers as well as hundreds of chairs on the floor. A podium with mic will be on stage along with chairs for dignitaries and room for the 144th Army Band.

I have attached the CEREMONY PROGRAM for your information.

EVERYONE is invited (encouraged) to join us at this Ceremony to honor our Fallen Heroes – especially Arlington’s Fallen Heroes – the 58 young men from our town who died in the service of our Nation – from the civil war to Afghanistan. The 58 Fallen Hero Wreaths will be displayed in front of the main stage. You can see a List of their names on page 4 of the PROGRAM.

On behalf of all our Gold Star Families and our veterans, I want to thank the people of Arlington Heights for their wonderful support for Memorial Day and throughout the year.

Respectfully,

Greg

Greg Padovani
Chairman, Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights, IL
Board Member, Honor Flight of Northern & Western IL

Honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families.


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