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‘Heroes’ parade to start fair

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A 1916 Harley-Davidson used by Gen. John Pershing’s command. World War I-era band songs. A 1905 Howitzer.

These are just a few bits of military history that will be part of the Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade Monday, a parade scheduled to have Gov. Susana Martinez as its grand marshal.

The parade is a tradition that has its roots as far back as 1900, and public schools and many local businesses still close up shop for some or all of the day to ensure that people can participate or watch. This year’s parade is expected to include 80 to 110 floats and entries, with many highlighting the theme “Honoring All Who Served.”

Given that this November marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, parade organizers decided to focus many of the floats and entries on tributes to combat veterans, while also commemorating the principles they fought for and recognizing firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement.

Any veterans from the area wanting to ride on a float have been invited to do so by the New Mexico Military Institute, which is organizing many of the parade entries. To participate, meet NMMI staff at Honor Avenue on the NMMI campus by 9 a.m. Monday.

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The parade begins 10 a.m. at North Main Street and College Boulevard and will head south to Summit Street. More information is available in the Eastern New Mexico State Fair publication inserted in today’s paper.