Patriotism was overflowing onto the streets of Coupeville Saturday as the community gathered for the annual Memorial Day Parade and celebration.
Starting on South Main Street, decorated cars and floats filled the streets. People walked the parade route waving American Flags, tossing candy and honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The parade, led by grand marshal Beth Kuchynka, flowed down Main Street onto Front and Alexander streets before ending on Coveland at Coupeville Town Park. An estimated two thousand people filled the streets to watch. Flags were handed out along Front Street.
Navy Band Northwest performed along the parade route and played at the entrance to the park as the rest of the community flowed in for further celebration.
“I think it went really well,” said Lynda Eccles, executive director of the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce. “There were a lot of people.”
“Having the Navy Band Northwest really added to the traditional parade feel. With the backdrop of Coupeville it had that traditional Americana feeling.
“It had a festive, happy feeling. It’s just amazing.”
While the parade offered entertainment and fun for the community, the remembrance ceremony held a more serious and subdued tone.
Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard acted as emcee for the event, highlighting the town’s participation in the community event and the importance of the day.
This year’s Memorial Day celebration was particularly special to her, she said, because she recently returned from a trip to France with her husband.
She said they were able to walk the beaches of Normandy and visit key locations in history.
Capt. Darryl L. Walker, Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, represented Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in the celebration, speaking on behalf of Capt. Mike Nortier.
Walker spoke to the community and how important its support is to the military. He took time to honor local fallen veterans such as Megan McClung as well as Pearl Harbor survivors who were in attendance.
Jim Stansell, a Pearl Harbor survivor, conducted a traditional bell ceremony with Boy Scout Erling Anderson from Troop 413 on Camano Island, followed by the traditional performance of TAPS by a bugler.
“A lot more people attended the remembrance ceremony,” Eccles said. “Which I really appreciate because that’s what it’s really about.”
After the remembrance ceremony, the All Island Community Band offered musical entertainment and people enjoyed a hot dog lunch prepared by members of the Central Whidbey Lions Club. Food was provided by Prairie Center Red Apple.