2018-11-08 / Community News

Parade is Nov. 12 in Saco, Biddeford

Biddeford and Saco communities are invited to the Veterans Day Ceremony and Parade Monday, Nov. 12. The day begins with a brief opening ceremony at 10 a.m. at Eastman Park in Saco (corner of Beach and Main). Following the ceremony, the parade will proceed from Main Street in Saco to Biddeford’s Main Street, then left on Alfred Street. It culminates at Biddeford’s Veterans Memorial Park, on the corner of Alfred and Pool streets. The ceremony will feature guest speaker United States Navy Retired Command Master Chief J. E. “Gene” Foster.

This year’s parade is dedicated to World War I veterans, as it is the 100th year anniversary of the end of the first world war. The parade Grand Marshall will be Bob Gagnon. Gagnon is a Navy veteran and the grandson of World War I veteran (François-Xavier) Adolphe Gagnon. Adolphe

Gagnon served in the United States Army. He was born in Saint-Marcel, Québec in 1898 and emigrated to Biddeford when he was 10 years old. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to France, where he was wounded at the battle of Saint-Mihel. He later married (Marie) Delvina Cannuel, and they lived their whole lives in Biddeford, raising their eight children. He worked at the Pepperell Mills, starting in his teenage years prior to military service in the U.S. Army, until his retirement in his 60s.

The parade features veterans from the American Legion and AmVets as well as performances from the Thornton Academy and Biddeford High School bands, middle school bands, scouting and dance troops, Community Bicycle Center, police and fire departments, Maine Coastal Cruisers, elected officials and Frank Galos Chevrolet.

Since 2014, Heart of Biddeford has collaborated with local veterans organizations to host parades to honor those who serve or have served the country, as well as to build connections in the community of Biddeford and Saco.

“Our local veterans organizations appreciate the involvement of the whole community,” said Heart of Biddeford Executive Director Delilah Poupore. “This is an important time to stop and remember all who have served our country.”

The Bentley’s Saloon bus picks up passengers who would like a ride to and from the parade at the Biddeford American Legion post at 9 a.m. The community is invited to AmVets Post 1 in Biddeford for a luncheon following the parade.

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