Olympian Nancy Kerrigan named special guest for Memorial Day Parade
ST. CLAIR SHORES, MI--Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan will participate in the 66th annual St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade on May 27.
“I’m so happy to visit St. Clair Shores and be part of its long-standing tradition of recognizing the sacrifice of our service men and women through the parade,” said Kerrigan, whose late father was a U.S. Army veteran. "I also welcome the chance to honor our veterans and the cherished memories we have of our fallen heroes.”
The parade, which runs along Harper Ave. from Ridgeway to 11 Mile Road, has more than 130 entries and anticipates more than 85,000 spectators.
Kerrigan, a two-time Olympic medalist, also plans to spend some time sharing her love of skating with local children during an appearance at the Civic Ice Arena. “Skating has been a such a source of joy in my life, and I’m looking forward to sharing that with children in St. Clair Shores when we take the ice together,” she said.
The parade has attracted a number of prominent participants including Mark and Cora Lijek, who escaped the capture of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 and inspired the movie Argo; Mark Wells, part of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team -- Miracle on Ice -- that won the gold medal; and Rudy Ruettiger, whose early life inspired the 1993 movie Rudy.
“Having an Olympic athlete of Nancy Kerrigan’s stature in the parade is a big deal,” said Mayor Kip Walby. “As special guests go, she’s sure to be a crowd favorite.”
Kerrigan has been one of America’s most recognizable sports icons for over 20 years. Kerrigan received a bronze medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics and the silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics.
“The SCS Parade Committee is very excited to welcome Nancy Kerrigan -- a legend in her sport -- to the parade, and we're especially appreciative that she'll be able to spend some time with the young skaters in the city,” said Parade Chair Cheryl Furdos.
The parade, held on Harper Avenue this year, also features:
- Military and veteran entries such as the Arsenal of Democracy, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, the St. Clair Shores Police Honor Guard, Tuskegee Airmen, the Montford Point Marines of America, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Blue Star Mothers.
- Motorcity Skydiving Team starts the parade with a jump at the beginning of the parade route.
- Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World Champion Detroit TIgers team are Mickey Lolich, the series MVP, and Mickey Stanley.
- Marching bands including Plymouth Fife and Drum Corp., Great Lakes Drum Corp. Alumni, 126th Army Band, 5th Michigan Regiment Band and local high school bands.
- Beauty queens including Miss Wayne County, Romeo Peach Queen, Miss Lighthouse Coast, Miss St. Clair Shores Scholarship Program, and American Beauties Plus.
- Spectacular floats from Macomb County Bicentennial and First State Bank.
- Entries to celebrate Macomb County’s Bicentennial including the Macomb County Sheriff’s Mounted Division, Lake Shore High School Dance Team, Rotary Club of Macomb County, Miss Richmond Good Old Days, Macomb County Veteran Navigator, and Roseville Police Department.
“The Parade Committee has put together a variety of entries from the Detroit Parade Company "Big Heads" to the heart-warming bagpipe sounds from the Macomb Highlanders and our neighbors across the border, the Windsor Police Pipe Band,” Furdos said.
There will be many musical entries, local celebrities, state and local legislators, civic groups and so much more -- something for everyone, she said.
“It’s the strongest lineup in the history of the parade,” said Dave Rubello, parade entry chairman, “It’s the largest contingent of military entries at 30 in any volunteer-run Memorial Day parade in the United States.”