TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's the unofficial start to summer and the three-day weekend that screams "get out of town!"
Those who spend nearly 11 months planning the annual Downtown Memorial Day Parade encourage that before you get out of town, remember why we have a three-day weekend.
"Memorial Day is supposed to be the day that we all remember those who gave us the freedoms that we have today," said Robert Schmitt, president of Toledo Lucas County Memorial Day association. "You know the freedom to go put your boat in the water and have picnics and stuff,"
This year, the Toledo Lucas County Memorial Day Association lost several large sponsors and the only ad for the parade was paid for by the county.
"People have died in service," Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Lucas County Commissioner. "It is critical that we not only recognize them value our veterans in our community and those that gave their lives and also make sure their families know their note forgotten."
The parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. will have veterans and active military but it's what will happen at the All Wars Memorial that will bring a lot of meaning to Memorial Day.
"The memorial service which follows the parade is the most part," Schmitt said. "Where we come here to civic center mall and we place wreaths on the memorials and really pay tribute to those and remember them for what they've done for us."
Schmitt said in order to keep this important tradition going they need young veterans and active service members to step up.
"The younger veterans we really need younger veterans to get involved because the older veterans like us, our bodies are falling apart of us and we're not being able to march in the parade as much as we can," Schmitt said.
The memorial service will start about 10 minutes after the parade ends.