Glove Cities ready for parades

Johnstown steps off Friday night; Gloversville on Monday

World War II Army Staff Sgt. Joe Hanchar will be the grand marshal of Friday night’s Memorial Day parade in Johnstown. This photo was taken last year while Joe attended the memorial service at the Charles Jenner Memorial bandshell in Johnstown Park. (Photo by Bill Trojan The Leader-Herald)

The Glove Cities will be alive with patriotic spirit and somber remembrances through their respective city parades and Memorial Day services set for Friday and Monday.

Organizers say the annual five-division Johnstown Memorial Day Parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The annual Gloversville Memorial Day Parade starts at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Divisions for the Johnstown parade will line up from South Chase Street to North Chase Street to Jansen Avenue to East Main Street and march west downtown to West Main Street. Divisions will include: police and fire vehicles, politicians, sports organizations, veterans, EMS services, scouts, military organizations, church groups, bands, color guard, theatre groups and private companies.

World War II veteran Joseph R. Hanchar will serve as parade grand marshal. The 93-year-old, who served in Guam during the war, was a member of the U.S. Army 76th Quartermster Corps. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant.

Following the Johnstown Memorial Day Parade, the city will conduct a Memorial Day program around 7 p.m. Friday in the downtown Sir William Johnson Park on West Main Street. The master of ceremonies will be Peter O’Lucci.

The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by John Morris, U.S. Naval Reserve (retired), who will also give the Order to Post Colors.

During the program, Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson, a retired Navy first-class petty officer who served with the Seabees, will speak.

An acknowledgment of all veterans past and present will be conducted. A moment of silence will be offered for deceased veterans.

Musical selections will be: National Anthem and medley of Battle Cry of Freedom from “American Scenes,” by the Johnstown marching band; and “Taps” by Alex Pratt, JHS marching band bugler.

Boy Scout Troop 104 will present the wreath in the park.

The Johnstown Police Department honor guard will offer a three-shot salute.

Pastor Robert Walter of the First Baptist Church of Johnstown will give the invocation and benediction.

Organizers for the Gloversville Memorial Day Parade say it will be an eight-division parade. Starting at Sixth Avenue/Main Street, the parade will be going up Sixth Avenue to Kingsboro Avenue, then down Kingsboro to East Fulton Street.

The parade will include similar participants as in the Johnstown parade, and include Miss Fulton County Heather Graves and Miss Montgomery County Victoria Opalka. Other organizations, such as Relay for Life, Patriot Riders Motorcycle Group, Twin City Twisters, Kids in Motion, Terra Trikes, Glove Theatre, Bag Pipes of Schenectady, antique cars and Westwind Farms will also participate.

At the conclusion of the Gloversville parade, a memorial service will be conducted at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Old Prospect Hill Cemetery. Bill Wilson will serve as master of ceremonies.

Charles Giglio, a Gloversville Enlarged School District Latin teacher and 2015 New York state Teacher of the Year, will be this year’s grand marshal. He will give the main address, followed by a moment of silence for all deceased.

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King will also speak.

The Gettysburg Address will be delivered by Gloversville High School senior Riley King. A 4-H group will read Gen. John Logan’s Memorial Day Orders.

The Gloversville High School Band will render a selection, as well as the National Anthem.

Andrea Abodeen of Girl Scout Troop 2142 will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Three volleys will be given by the American Legion firing squad, followed by “Taps” played by GHS student Ben Person. Wreaths will also be placed at the monument.

Envoy Mark Devaney will provide the invocation and benediction.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at