City Council reverses course, approves traditional Loyalty Day parade route
STANDISH — About one month after approving a new course for the Veterans of Foreign Wars annual Loyalty Day parade, the Standish City Council changed its mind April 11 and voted to allow the parade to be held along the same route it has for more than 40 years.
During its March meeting, city council voted to change the parade route to one that stayed on the east side of US-23 and traveled through local streets in the downtown area. At its meeting last Tuesday, though, council members voted 7-0 to allow the parade to once again step off from Airpark Drive and to move in a straight line down M-61, crossing US-23 and ending at Standish Elementary.
City Manager Jerry Nelson said the decision to alter the course last month was made at the recommendation of former city police Chief Mark Christian, who met with parade organizer Marty Metiva. Nelson said city officials thought the VFW, American Legion and city were in agreement, but in the previous weeks, it became clear that was not the case.
Nelson told the Independent in March it had become difficult to get a parade permit from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the closure of state highways, M-61 and US-23. However, Nelson said April 11 the city requested a permit after it started to appear the route could be changed back.
“We have the permit,” he said. “We already pulled it just in case.”
There was no issue in changing the route back, Nelson said.
“I don’t have any problem with it at all,” he said. “I know Mayor (Ray) Koroleski has no problem with it.”
Metiva said when he met with Christian to discuss the parade route, he would have liked Nelson to be present as well. Metiva said he felt poor communication led to city council voting to change the course.
“I think there was communications missed there that should’ve been clearer than what it was,” he said.
The Loyalty Day parade is scheduled for noon on April 29.