Borough plans scaled down Memorial Day celebration

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BRADLEY BEACH — Instead of residents coming to this year’s Memorial Day parade next Monday, the parade will instead come to residents.

Adapting to social distancing requirements brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, borough officials have said they will have this year’s parade grand marshal, Roy Christensen, drive through Bradley Beach on the back of a fire truck with some council members following on bicycle.

“A few weeks ago we had to make the tough decision to cancel the Memorial Day parade, but the more we thought about it, we wanted to still honor the gentleman who we had selected to be our grand marshal,” Mayor Gary Engelstad said.

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Traditionally, the borough holds a solemn Memorial Day ceremony at Riley Park and a parade down Ocean Avenue. While other towns have canceled their parades and ceremonies, the borough wanted to do whatever they could to do something to commemorate the holiday.

The Memorial Day parade in Bradley Beach will roll on under a plan to honor our fallen despite the coronavirus pandemic making large gatherings impossible.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, at the Bradley Beach Fire Department. Mr. Christensen will be followed by Mayor Engelstad and council as they make their way to Bradley Boulevard, and will go up and down all the two ways on the east/west streets.

“We are going to bring the parade to Bradley Beach, we are going to take a fire truck and a convertible, and we are going to parade Roy around town,” the mayor said. “We are going to encourage everyone to come out to their front steps or their front porch and thank Roy for his 46 years of service to the borough.” Throughout the course of the parade, residents are asked to remain at their homes and not congregate on the street or sidewalk.

Mr. Christensen is a life-long member of the Bradley Beach Fire Department, serving since 1974. He still serves as one of the Fire Department’s top drivers and is a trustee at the department. He is known for his ability to put together fundraisers to support the volunteers of the fire company. His fish fry and the unity picnic between the fire and first aid are a yearly tradition. Every New Year’s Day, he serves a banquet at the firehouse celebrating the newly installed officers.

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This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.

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